Workshop Date: 22 September 2012
(REGISTRATION CLOSES 20 SEPTEMBER)
Over the past two decades there has been a serious decline in the quality and number of lakes in the Bangalore urban region due to encroachment, pollution and neglect. The same situation exists across the State of Karnataka. This has resulted in a serious decline in access to water and has also affected food security, livelihoods and biodiversity potential of these wetland ecosystems. In an effort to protect these lakes, the Government of Karnataka set up the Lake Development Authority (LDA) mandating it with the task of conserving these water bodies as they form a critical support system for extending water security in the region. However, encroachment and pollution of lakes has resulted in a variety of environmental and public health impacts and various traditional rights and livelihoods have been snuffed out as a result of commoditisation and commercialisation of lakes.
To stem the degradation of lake habitats across Karnataka, ESG filed a PIL (WP No. 817/2008) in the High Court of Karnataka. The Court responded by constituting a Committee under Justice Mr. N. K. Patil of the High Court, to provide a series of recommendations and guidelines to protect, conserve, rehabilitate and wisely use lakes and their watersheds in the Bangalore region. The Committee's findings were accepted comprehensively and the Court directed that all lakes in Karnataka and their canal networks (about 38,000) must be immediately protected, instructing the State to make a budgetary allocation for the effort. In compliance with this direction, the State Budget of 2012 has an allocation of Rs. 150 crores for lake rehabilitation and protection in Bangalore. In addition, the Court has instructed the State Government to constitute District Level Lake Protection Committees and an Apex Committee collaborating with the Karnataka Legal Services Authority to ensure the High Court direction for wise use, rehabiliation, protection and conservation of lakes is strictly complied with.
How you will benefit from the workshop
By participating in the workshop, you will learn about the cultural, sociological and historical significance of our lakes, and their critical importance in extending water and food security. In addition you will appreciate the importance of lakes as livelihood spaces, sites of cultural and educational importance and as habitats of critical importance to migratory waterfowl. Most importantly, you will learn how you can utilise the judgment to secure your neighbourhood lake from pollution and encroachment and thus begin the journey for their conservation, wise use and rehabilitation. In addition, you will appreciate the various laws and policies that help protect lakes as our commons, for our benefit and that of future generations.
To participate in this workshop please register by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 26713559/60/61 latest by Thursday, 20th September.
Contributions to cover the cost of the workshop are welcome. Contributions may be made in favour of "Environment Support Group".