Shola forests on Ghats to be classified as red zone
Shola forest
KOCHI, June 26, 2011: The Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel, headed by Madhav Gadgil, propose to categorise all shola forests on the Western Ghats as red zone.

The categorisation of the Western Ghats is to be done on the basis of eight ecological parameters such as biodiversity, endemicity and geomorphological features. There would be four zones-- red, yellow, blue and green, depending on the biodiveristy and ecological sensitivity of each area.

The Panel had decided on a graduated or layered approach as better means to identify ecological sensitivity of an area as suggested by Dr. Gargil, rather than a binary approach of classification as ‘sensitive’ and ‘not sensitive’ areas. Categorisation of ecological sensitivity would allow certain sets of activities to be permissible for a certain area depending upon level and nature of its ecological sensitivity.

Projects that cause serious ecological imbalances such as wood and chemical industries will not be allowed in the red zone. Industries would be permitted in the yellow zone subject to regulations.

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