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October 30, 2007
Three out of 34 biodiversity hotspots identified globally -Himalayas, Indo-Burma and Western Ghats cover parts of India. The Northeast of India is traversed by the first two. Northeast also houses 21% of Important bird Areas identified nationally.
In recent years biologists have discovered new species of mammals and smaller life forms in this region which is waiting to be fully explored yet.
The region has also been identified as India’s future "powerhouse" and 168 large hydroelectric projects totalling 63,328 MW are planned. The Envronment Impact Assessments done hurriedly and casually ignores the rich wildlife of the area.
Areas known to be having 300 bird species have been dismissed with five species; A river with 135 recorded species finds mention with just 55 species.
The EIA report for the Teesta III project in Sikkim does not have a single mention of the Khanjhenjunga National Park or the biosphere Reserve after a year-long study, even though the project is within a kilometer of the former and is within the latter!
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