Western Ghats given Unesco World Heritage status
Posted on: 03/07/2012
Western Ghats - UNESCO World Heritage status
The UN's cultural agency, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), has voted to add the Western Ghats of India to the list of World Heritage Sites.
The 1,600-km long Ghats, which starts at the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra and runs through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala ending at Kanyakumari, was inscribed on prestigious list by a 21-nation World Heritage Committee panel at its 36th session at St Petersburg in Russia on July 1.
This is the result of a campaign by the Centre from 2006. There are 39 sites in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra that form part of India’s “Serial Nomination of the Western Ghats”.
Older than the Himalaya mountains, the mountain chain of the Western Ghats represents geomorphic features of immense importance with unique biophysical and ecological processes. The site’s high montane forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern. Moderating the tropical climate of the region, it presents one of the best examples of the monsoon system in the planet. The site also has an exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism. It is recognized as one of the world’s eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity. The forests of the site include some of the best representatives of non-equatorial tropical evergreen forests anywhere and are home to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.