This story excerpt was translated from French. To read the original story in full, visit Reporterre. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
Under the canopy, a giant spider waits for its prey on its web, multicolored butterflies flutter between the plants, a stream flows gently among the trees. A unique landscape, bound to disappear. It is here, in the heart of the forest of Mollem, in the south of the state of Goa (India), that the famous environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar has given us an appointment. "This jungle has hundreds of thousands of trees, which produce oxygen, lower temperatures and provide a home for wildlife. However, it is now threatened", he tells us, facing the Western Ghats mountain range, which marks the border of this state and whose biodiversity is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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In 2020, in the middle of this primary forest, the Indian government gave the green light to the construction of a high-voltage line, a highway and the widening of a railroad line (to transport coal). A monster project, which meets a strong opposition from the field, like the NGO Goa Foundation or the movement "Save Mollem", which has become a symbol in the country.