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Madras Musings wishes all its readers a very Happy New Year!                      (ARCHIVE) VOL. XXII NO. 17, December 16-31, 2012
Greater focus on natural and rural heritage needed – INTACH
By a Special Correspondent

At a recent meeting of INTACH's Natural Heritage Advisory Committee, INTACH's national chairman L.K. Gupta reiterated that natural heritage must increasingly get precedence in national policies, as the country is facing new challenges in environmental conservation and has already suffered considerable damage due to lack of management.

He cited the example of the Ganga project where an amount of $7.2 billion was spent for cleaning up the river, but this most sacred river of India is still struggling to maintain its purity and its very existence.

An audio-visual presentation on Issues and Initiatives of Natural Heritage highlighted the progress made by INTACH in the Bio-geographic zones of India. In all, 258 sacred groves, 910 heritage trees, 74 precincts/landscapes, totalling 1242 natural heritage sites, were documented over the period 2010-2012. The documentation emphasised that natural heritage sites should have one or more attributes, such as physiographical elements, natural landscapes, community-based sacred groves, heritage or landmark trees, historic gardens, habitats of endemic species of flora and fauna, bio-diversity rich areas, etc. As collective action is required for constituting a National Data Base, INTACH's Heritage Natural Division also proposes to cover in future agri-history, traditional food crops and cultivars, alternative medicine systems, etc.

INTACH has already started paying attention to agricultural heritage conservation, with Chapter Convenors having been briefed to take up rural-related projects in their respective regions tapping into a number of Government schemes and funds now available in the rural sector.

While farmers still follow ancient practices in many regions, modern agriculture graduates, trained in the Western agricultural studies, are generally unaware of traditional local practices.

It was also felt that some genetically and agriculturally pure areas should be notified as Reserves of Agricultural Heritage. It was suggested that Chapter Convenors/Members working on identification of such groves should keep in touch with local Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) and seek their assistance in protecting such natural heritage sites. It was felt that INTACH should be represented in Government committees on Environment & Forests, Urban Development, Culture and in related agencies.

The Chairman concluded the meeting by endorsing agricultural heritage as an added dimensions to conservation of Natural Heritage. He also stated that Convenors have already been advised to include rural heritage in the listing and documentation undertaken in their respective areas. (Courtesy: INTACH Viraasat)

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In this Issue

Confusion reigns over heritage
Chennai lags behind as a liveable city
The State to blame for power shortage
Greater focus on natural and rural heritage needed: INTACH
Safeguarding intangible heritage
The State's Legislative Assembly – 60 years and more
Animal Farm – Version 2
Driving – the Indian way...
From promoter of consumerism to consumer activist – Part II
The Mother of all Music Seasons

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Our Readers Write – Season Special!
Quizzin' with Ram'nan
Dates for your Diary


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