MADIKERI: Madikeri Taluk Budakattu Krishikara Sangha president Kudiyara Muthappa said that the district will not receive the World Heritage Site tag in the near future.
He told reporters here on Wednesday that they received an official note from UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee which stated that they had received global objections to the issue, including from the district.
Hence, the highest deciding body on the tag has decided to drop the proposal.
The Ministry of Environment and Forest can submit a fresh proposal for nomination after three years in this regard, he added.
The Sangha had submitted a joint appeal to UNESCO opposing the tag in their respective areas quoting the reason as lack of implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People in the context of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention.
The main objection raised by the Sangha was that the local people weren’t taken into confidence nor were they informed about the tag, he said.
Even after six years, the Recognition of Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers Act-2006 had not been implemented and those who were living in the forest and adjoining areas were being evicted citing various Forest and Wildlife Acts, he alleged.
This was the main objection raised in the letter to UNESCO. Denying forest rights is a sheer violation of human rights of adivasis and other forest dwellers, he added.
Hence, the World Heritage Committee decided to defer on the nominations and called upon the Union Government to consult and collaborate with indigenous people.
He also released copies of the letter they had written and the replies too.
He also released the letter written by Union Minister for Tribal Affairs V Kishore Chandra Deo to all the Chief Ministers of the country quoting various problems in the implementation of the Recognition of Forest Act.
It may be recalled that the district was included in the list of World Heritage Sites as it is covered by the Western Ghats.