Protect India’s Old Growth Forests

Target: Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India

Goal: Protect India’s old growth forests from big coal companies

The nation of India is rapidly clearing its old growth forests to make way for coal development. This, matched with explosive population growth, will quickly destroy the country’s natural ecosystems. It will not only aid climate change, but will pollute food and water resources and threaten endangered species like the beloved tiger. Since India is enormous both in landmass and population, its environmental collapse will surely affect the entire region, if not the world.

In southern India, Kerala is known as the “Evergreen” state. Its forests are home to both tigers and Asian elephants. After the monsoon season, the region’s water towers are responsible for 40 percent of India’s water. However, despite progressive land planning efforts, powerful mining interests are constantly seeking development opportunities throughout the area. Furthermore, southern India’s swelling poor population is put at risk of losing vital clean water sources.

The latest environmental report for the region, called the Gadgil Report, is intended to create nature preserves for India’s long-term benefit. This initiative would protect all of India’s remaining old growth forests, which now occupy less than 10 percent of their original landmass. Ancient forests should not succumb to the development of temporary fossil fuels. However, the people of India are presently dependent on coal for lack of research into alternative sources of energy. Ask leaders to protect the forests from big coal companies.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Singh,

As you know, India is home to many majestic animal species, like the Asian elephant and the tiger. Kerala (the “Evergreen” state) and its surrounding forests are especially dense with the flora and fauna that make India unique in its biodiversity. However, throughout the region, big coal companies and other mining interests are clearing old growth forests to make way for resource development efforts. This is harmful not only to animals, but also to India’s human population, who garner 40 percent of their water resources from the region after the monsoon rains. Developing and polluting this district is especially harmful to the nation’s poor communities.

A new initiative, called the Gadgil Report, would protect all of India’s remaining old growth forests, which have dwindled to just a shadow of their former number. As a rapidly developing nation with an enormous landmass, environmental decisions in India have repercussions the world over. I urge you to protect old growth forests from coal mining.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: IUCNweb via flickr

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2 Comments

  1. J Davidson says:

    Once these forests are destroyed and gone, it is forever.

  2. Helga Ganguly says:

    Another ancient irreplaceable old growth forest as a target? Why-it must be Monday.
    You are as shortsighted as ants now aren’t you?

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