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The Cochin Natural History Society is a non-profit making, non-political charitable institution registered under the Travancore-Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955. This is a society of amateur naturalists who live in harmony with nature and seek to protect and to preserve the biodiversity and healthy natural environment. The mandate of the society is to undertake studies and documentation of biodiversity around us and to draw attention to the aesthetic, economic, scientific and conservation aspects.The society also intends to provide a platform to those who are concerned to come together and share, enlarge and correct our knowledge about Nature and its magnificence. Any person, who has a love, interest and commitment towards conservation of our biodiversity and natural history may become a member of the society*.

"You can know the names of a bird in all languages of the world,but when you are finished ,
You will know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird.....
So let`s look at the bird and see what it`s doing --that`s what counts.
I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."

-Nobel Laureate Richard P Feynman(1918-1988)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Western Ghats to be inscribed in world heritage list next year

No new IUCN missions to be sent to inspect the serial sites

Committee seeks additional information on management of sites

KOCHI: The serial sites of Western Ghats will be inscribed in the World Heritage List next year.

The 36th session of the World Heritage Committee of Unesco in Bangkok will make the announcement, V.B. Mathur, Dean of the Wildlife Institute of India, told The Hindu from Paris.

Though the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) wanted the inscription to be postponed for three years at the current session being held in Paris, the Committee decided to inscribe the 39 serial sites of the Ghats next year, said Dr. Mathur, who is part of the Indian delegation canvassing for the heritage status.

Describing the development as a major step, Dr. Mathur said 18 nations of the 21-member committee supported India. The Indian delegation was also informed that there was no need for new proposals for the Ghats. The Committee has also decided not to send any new IUCN mission to India to inspect the serial sites.

The Committee banks on the technical evaluation report of the IUCN in deciding the status of the sites nominated by the countries. A two-member committee visited the serial sites last year as part of the assessment process.

It has sought additional information regarding the management of the serial sites and given directions to make the management system more effective. The Committee said it was waiting for the recommendations of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the conservation and protection of the Ghats. All the information sought by the Committee would be mailed to them shortly, Dr. Mathur said.

On the biodiversity impact of some dams in the Ghats region, the Indian delegation said they were built long ago and had no major environmental impacts. The IUCN also appreciated the high biodiversity value of the Ghats sites and its universal importance, he said.

Incidentally, the committee removed Assam's Manas Wildlife Sanctuary from the ‘world heritage in danger' list after taking into account the significant improvements made for its preservation. The sanctuary was inscribed on the danger list in 1992, seven years after Unesco declared it a world heritage site.

K.S. Sudhi

The report published in The Hindu dated 25-6-2011

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