Why is Kerala protesting Supreme Court’s ESZ notification

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Why is Kerala protesting Supreme Court’s ESZ notification

  • Kerala urged Central government to exclude State’s human habitations, farmlands and public institutions from the purview Ecologically Sensitive Zones (ESZ)
  • Background:
    • Recently SC mandated an ESZ of at least one km from the boundary of every protected forest, including national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

Reasons for Kerala’s Worry:

  • Protected Zones:
  • 30% of Kerala is forested land
  • Western Ghats occupies 48% of the State.
  • Network of Lakes, Canals and Wetlands:
  • Governed by environmental conservation and protection legislations.
  • High Demographic Pressure on Land:
  • Population density: 900 persons per square km.

Deviation from Previous practice:

  • In its previous draft ESZ notification State Government excluded
  • High population density areas,
  • Government and quasi-government institutions
  • No human habitations in between, thus marking ESZ was peaceful affair.
  • SC order has put ten protected areas under restrictions which were previously marked as zero ESZ.
    • Resulted in violent reactions as it alters the State's socio-political, economic and ecological narratives.
    • State government has approached Central Empowered Committee to persuade the forum of importance of maintaining zero ESZ in human habitation areas.

Prelims take away

  • Economic sensitive zone
  • Gadgil report