Green index takes care of environment?
The real test of this would be if large projects are dropped or redesigned if the multi-dimensional Green Index falls below a certain threshold.
The Green Index is a welcome initiative, but will it be calculated based on a transparent mechanism that draws upon best possible data and evidence and done by an independent body? It should be a multidimensional index that encompasses the potential impacts on river flow, freshwater reaching estuaries, wild capture fisheries, wetlands, biodiversity, wildlife corridors and human-wildlife conflict.
Will this be the basis for dropping or redesigning any scheme if the Green Index value is too low? For Green Index to be useful, it has to be defined for each biome separately. For example, for fresh-water river and estuarine ecosystems, the adequacy of flow regime should be part of it and for a semi-arid grassland biome, it should be the extent of intact grassland and abundance and impact on grassland bird species, rather than “greenness” from tree plantations.
The real test of this would be if large projects are dropped or redesigned if the multi-dimensional Green Index falls below a certain threshold. If you look at Karnataka, it is moving ahead with renewable energies, but for streams and wetlands, it has the same old attitude of diverting the rivers. Instead of thinking of looking at more decentralised methods of managing local water bodies, they are looking at diverting west-flowing rivers. Now, there is a need to think of the downstream and coastal impact as seas are getting warmer and acidification is also being reported. Touching estuaries will have an impact on climate change and wonder why all that has not been addressed.
There is also a need for a policy on small dams as they have a lot of impact on CC. Dams also should not be encouraged in Western Ghats. For the amount of hydropower they generate, the ecological impact is much more. The cost is more than the benefit. Nothing is seen on management of water sources. There is nothing for farmers to shift to less water-intensive crops and if this was done then there is no need to divert west-flowing rivers eastwards. Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Senior Fellow, Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)
Senior Fellow, Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the