Students of Goa have approached Union MoEFCC Prakash Javadekar to protest against the three projects cleared to run through protected biodiversity hot-spots in the state.
Hoping for a positive and prompt response from the government, the students sent a letter dated 16 November 2020 to the minister of environment, forests and climate change Mr. Prakash Javadekar and state authorities, opposing the projects that will run through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park.
The letter highlights the devastating impact of the three projects, and laments the lack of regard to ecology and quality of life in the state. It also lists a number of endemic species that will be affected, expresses concern about the potential impact on Goa’s oldest tribal community–the Dhangars–who have resided within the forest for generations, and notes how the Dudhsagar Falls, and other rivulets originating in the forest will be irreversibly affected.
“As young citizens of Goa, we are determined to protect our natural heritage, and we hope that you will take our voices into consideration,” the letter reads. “At a time when the world is reeling under the pressure of accelerated climate change–and in the midst of a pandemic, when the available science clearly shows a correlation between the destruction of ecosystems and a rise in zoonotic diseases–we do not believe that such projects are justified, or scientifically sound. The student community of Goa would like to state, for the record, that we don’t not consent to this reckless devastation of nature.”
The letter highlights the blatant lack of transparency at each stage of decision making.
“Such decisions, concerning the common fate of humankind should be taken with public consultation and consent, and informed by the most up-to-date science.”