Jhatkaa.org unveils platforms to allow citizens to submit comments to the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change ahead of important November 4th deadline.

As part of its Save the Western Ghats campaign, Jhatkaa.org has developed an online platform to enable citizens to send in responses to MoEFCC’s new Draft Notification on Ecolocigally Sensitive Areas in the Western Ghats. Jhatkaa.org urges citizens to use this opportunity to protect as much as possible of  what is left of India’s last remaining rainforests.

13th October 2015. BANGALORE --  On Sept 4th, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) issued a fresh draft notification demarcating Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA) in the Western Ghats, based on the recommendations of the Kasturirangan Committee. The MoEFCC has given a 60 day period in which public comments are welcomed. The notification states that comments can be sent in writing to the Secretary, MoEFCC or at e-mail address: esz-mef@nic.in.

Realising the importance of this opportunity to protect the Western Ghats and its people, while simultaneously enabling Indian citizens to participate in policy formulation, Jhatkaa.org has created Savethewesternghats.com where citizens can now go and send in their feedback to the MoEFCC in just a few clicks.

Jhatkaa.org Campaigner Tania Devaiah said “The platform has compiled points on the issue based on our study of the fresh notification and inputs from expert partners and community members. The Citizens fact finding report on public consultations in the Western Ghats is also referenced. We hope that through this simple platform, thousands of comments will reach the MoEFCC, urging them to protect more of the Western Ghats in an inclusive, holistic manner. With India committing to increasing its green cover and other measures ahead of Paris COP21, it is crucial that our government live up to these promises and protect this massive carbon sink that India already has. No amount of afforestation can compensate for the loss of the Ghats.”

Declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the ecosystems of the Western Ghats act as a major carbon sink for India and play a key role in countering the impacts of climate change. They are the source of 40% of India’s rivers and a barrier to the South West Monsoons that feed most of Southern India. A staggering 200 million Indians depend on the resources of the Western Ghats which also are a home to hundreds of endangered species of flora and fauna. But how many citizens know that they can reach out to the MoEFCC on this issue and how to do so?

Citizens can now visit Savethewesternghats.com, read the well-researched responses compiled by Jhatkaa.org, and submit an email comment to the MoEF. With less than a month left for the commenting period to close, Jhatkaa aims to flood the MoEFCC with critical inputs on this draft notification and thus effectively demonstrate mass concern for India’s natural heritage.

For more information, contact:

Ms. Tania Devaiah, Jhatkaa.org: 9986770949

Mr. Bhavik Lathia, Jhatkaa.org: bhavik@jhatkaa.org, 9591368094