Save Western Ghats Movement
– A Background
Keystone Foundation is a proud member of the Save Western Ghats Movement’s core group.
The SWGM has been founded on the principle of a people’s movement for environmental regeneration and people’s rights and livelihoods in the Western Ghats. The movement derives from local people, who have been fully exposed to the harmful effects of deforestation, and their need to protect their environment. The famous Save Western Ghats March started more that 25 years ago as one of the pioneering civil society movements to redefine, question and build up a grassroots up swell for conservation, protection of natural resources and people’s local livelihoods.
After years of slumber the movement has awoken again. Kumar Kalanand Mani from Peaceful Society who was one of the pioneers of the march offered graciously to host the Goa meeting in 2009. In that meeting a core group was naturally formed to take the movement forward, and to plan for the next conference in Kotagiri.
Save Western Ghats Meet 2010
The meet was held at the Keystone Campus in Kotagiri from the 18th to 20th February 2010. it started off with the Union Minister of Environment and Forest Mr. Jairam Ramesh as the guest of honour. The settings for a Western Ghats Expert Panel were announced, with the objective to work towards demarcating all ecologically sensitive areas across 51 districts of the six states that Westerns Ghats runs through. This with the aim to identify areas in which no further development activities would be undertaken and those in which permission would be based on strict criteria.
Issues being discussed were, among others Saving Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Large Dams and Thermal Power Plants, Bring Western Ghats into NAPCC, Issues of Indigenous People, Human-Wildlife Conflict, GM and Organic Farming and Mining.
Save Western Ghats Youth meeting
The meeting was held at Moodibidri in Karnataka. Youth from five states within the Western Ghats discussed the issues with regard to biodiversity and conservation and also to chalk out possible measures to counter the issues and threats.
CEPF Workshop cum Mid term Assessment
A workshop cum mid term assessment was conducted by the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) and the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE) at Keystone Foundation, Kotagiri on the April 8-9, 2011. CEPF is a joint initiative of l’Agence Francaise de Developpement, Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. CEPF investment in the Western Ghats Region of the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka Hotspot is being coordinated by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE).
The background of this assessment was that CEPF is half way into a five year program of investment in the Western Ghats region. The purpose was to engage civil society groups in biodiversity conservation and to asses the progress towards the goals set out in the Ecosystem Profile for the region. The workshop focused on the Nilgiri – Mysore corridor of their ecosystem profile with more than 20 CEPF grantees participating from the region. It provided an opportunity to strengthen cross linkages between CEPF grants and their future investment strategies.