Going ahead where the Congress-led government failed, Alina Saldanha, Minister for Environment and Forests of the current BJP-led government has stated that the government are working out on the details to be submitted to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and UNESCO to include Goa’s part of the Western Ghats in the World Heritage status.
Saldanha expressed, “Once Goa also gets recognized as a World Heritage site by the UNESCO, the Western Ghats, Goa Sector, will automatically be in the focus at the national and international levels and this will serve as a deterrent to keep the violators of the forests in place. Besides there will be immense scope for tourists and researchers who would like to visit the area and sturdy the species diversity.”
A sizeable portion of the Western Ghats falls within the territory of Goa. In Goa there is 1 National Park and 6 Wildlife sanctuaries covering an area of 755 sqkm, which constitutes 61 per cent of the recorded forest area under the protected area network.
“The bio-diversity within the Goa sector of the Western Ghats reflects one of the most complex plant – animal – bird life combines. More than 1512 species of plants including some rare endemic species along with animals and reptiles form part of this region,” stated Saldanha.