Two senior biological scientists said [in August 2012] that people of the State should support Unesco’s World Heritage Site tag to the Western Ghats to save the ghats from further destruction.
In a chat with The Hindu at Pilikula Nisargadhama here, M. Sanjappa, former Director, Botanical Survey of India, and R.R. Rao, former head, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow. and currently serving as a scientist with the Indian National Science Academy, said that only the vested interests opposed the tag. Mr. Sanjappa said many plant species would not survive if the long range of the ghats was fragmented. Like an “elephant corridor”, there was a “plant corridor”. If the “plant corridor” was broken, many species would disappear. Hence, it was important to ensure that the range was not broken. He said some vested interested had launched a “negative campaign” against the tag. Mr. Sanjappa said the ghats had been listed as one of the few biodiversity hotspots in the world not only because it had a rich biodiversity but also for the destructive activities happening there. […]
Mr. Rao said that the ghats had been listed as “hottest hotspot” because a majority of original species and vegetation had disappeared from there. There were only nine “hottest hotspots” in the world. “We should support the World Heritage tag. Status quo should be maintained,” he said. […]
Source: Raviprasad Kamila in “Support Unesco tag to save Western Ghats (The Hindu, 11 August 2012)
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