MODEL ECO-SENSITIVE ZONE INITIATIVES (MESZI)
(c) Yogesh Pathak
This idea was originally presented by Yogesh Pathak in his paper: “A Report on Socio-Economic Status in Villages of the Panshet Dam Catchment Region”, Journal of Ecological Society, Pune, v.28, 2015
What is the idea?
A model Eco-Sensitive Zone Initiative for an ecologically rich or vulnerable region, is a long-term association of NGOs, local citizens, and urban volunteers who are interested in restoring nature while achieving sustainable economic development in the area. Their aim would be to demonstrate that the given geographic area can become a Model Eco-Sensitive Zone and not give way to the forces of development over the next 2-3 decades.
How should it be implemented?
The catalysts of such an effort should involve stakeholders like real estate industry, bureaucrats, forest dept., irrigation dept., farmers, land owners, schools, housewives, etc and hold ongoing sustainability education workshops for them. These regular meet-ups would sensitize the stakeholders to the potential for ecological destruction in the region, ways to arrest or slow it, and conserve the region.
What would be a typical activity or output?
One of the outputs from such an effort could be to work with NGOs and academics to evolve a Landscape Ecology Plan for the said region (LEP) in a scientific yet socio-economically sensitive manner. They should also develop long-term CSR relationships with corporates who would be willing to fund ongoing conservation and restoration programs in the said region.
Is there an example of such an effort?
A successful example of such a working group is Jeevitnadi, Pune, which works on the cause of rivers.