Western Ghats: Nod for farming activities by Ministry of Environment & Forests

The Environment Ministry, following the ‘in principle’ acceptance of the Kasturirangan panel report, issued a fresh order on easing norms on activities related to plantations and agriculture in Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA).

  • The Ministry elucidated that the recommendations made by the Kasturirangan panel, neither put any fresh restrictions on land use in the ESA nor do they in any way impact the continued occupation of land in possession of the local people and affect their day to day activities or normal livelihood.
  • The new order cleared that the boundary of the ESA and the regulatory regime — an emotive issue in some of the affected states — would be finalized after the draft notification for the same is placed in the public domain and comments on it from all stakeholders including state governments are received. 
What are the recommendations made by the Kasturirangan panel?

The key suggestions made by the K. Kasturirangan panel:

  • Promotion of Ecotourism; economically empower the local population, Incentives green growth in the Western Ghats, etc.
  • Ban on mining, quarrying, sand mining, thermal power plants, building and construction projects on areas that are 20,000 sq m or more, township and area development projects with an area of 50ha and above and red category of industries in ESA.
  • Defined 37% of the Western Ghats landscape as ecologically sensitive.



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