Goa W Ghat may catch UNESCO bus

PTI, PANAJI | 18 April 2013 17:11 IST

Goa Environment and Forest Minister Alina Saldanha today claimed that there were bright chances of the Western Ghats crossing through Goa being included in the UNESCO's heritage list.

She said that the application of the state government in this regard was already being processed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF). 

"The chances of Goa part of Western Ghats being inscribed in UNESCO's heritage list are brighter. Everything is happening the way it should have happened," Saldanha told PTI here today. 

"We should not doubt that Goa will not be included in the list," she added. 

UNESCO had included 39 sites of Western Ghats in its heritage list. 

Goa had missed the opportunity as the state government had not made any representation. 

"There are fair chances of Goa getting into the list. The Western Ghat in Goa is the hot-spot of biodiversity which has rare endemic species," Saldanha added. 

She said that the Goa government had sent a proposal on January 17 this year to the authorities explaining the state's claim for being included in the heritage list. 

The letter was directed to V B Mathur, Dean of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, she said. 

The proposal has been forwarded to MoEF on March 30, 2013, by Mathur endorsing the claim of Goa to be included in the list, the minister said. 

In July 2012, a cluster of 39 sites in the Western Ghats including tiger reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved forests in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu were declared as heritage sites by UNESCO.

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