In an effort to create awareness on the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) report among locals, various environmental organisations have begun translating the report into different regional languages.
By August, the WGEEP report, which is in English, is likely to be available in languages of the six states under the Western Ghats region.
"We decided to translate the report since those at the grass root level are the ones who are really concerned about the quality of environment," said Gadgil. "While the rich travel by air-conditioned cars and can afford to insulate themselves with luxuries, the poor are affected and concerned by local environmental degradation because it directly impacts their lives and livelihood."
Volunteers have started translating the report in Marathi, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam and Tamil. "At present, we are trying to get some volunteers for Gujarati. All we want is an informed discussion among the stakeholders who are right now clueless about the laws that empower them," said Gadgil.
Last August, the panel chaired by ecologist Madhav Gadgil submitted the report to the environment ministry following which it was uploaded on the ministry's website in May for public comments.
In 2010, WGEEP was constituted to delineate ecologically sensitive zones in the Western Ghats and identify areas where development needs to be restricted to protect the environment.
In its report, the panel has classified the entire western region comprising six states into eco-sensitive zone 1 (ESZ1), eco-sensitive zone 2 (ESZ2) and eco-sensitive zone 3 (ESZ3).
The report has recommended that no activities must be permitted in the highly protected zone 1, while regulated activities will be allowed in zone 2. Zone 3 will be under regulated protection.