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Kerala (English: KERR-ə-lə; Malayalam: [ke:ɾɐɭɐm] (listen)) is a state on the Malabar Coast of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, following the passage of the States Reorganisation Act, by combining Malayalam-speaking regions of the erstwhile regions of Cochin, Malabar, South Canara, and Travancore. Spread over 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi), Kerala is the 21st largest Indian state by area. It is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and the Lakshadweep Sea to the west. With 33 million inhabitants as per the 2011 census, Kerala is the 13th-largest Indian state by population. It is divided into 14 districts with the capital being Thiruvananthapuram. Malayalam is the most widely spoken language and is also the official language of the state.

Kerala has the lowest positive population growth rate in India, 3.44%; the highest Human Development Index (HDI), 0.784 in 2018 (0.712 in 2015); the highest literacy rate, 96.2% in the 2018 literacy survey conducted by the National Statistical Office, India; the highest life expectancy, 77 years; and the highest sex ratio, 1,084 women per 1,000 men. Kerala is the second-least impoverished state in India according to the Annual Report of Reserve Bank of India published in 2013. Kerala is the second-most urbanised major state in the country with 47.7% urban population according to the 2011 Census of India. The state topped in the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals according to the annual report of NITI Aayog published in 2019.

It has received attention from numerous development economists, including Amartya Sen,W who makes comparisons between China's achievement of social and public health goals (including low birthrate) through coercion, and Kerala's slightly better achievements through education and empowerment.

Open spaces[edit | edit source]

The protected areas of Kerala include a wide range of biomes, extending east from the coral reefs, estuaries, salt marshes, mangroves beaches of the Arabian Sea through the tropical moist broadleaf forests of the Malabar Coast moist forests to the North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests and South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests to South Western Ghats montane rain forests on the western border of Tamil Nadu in the Western Ghats. Most protected areas throughout its 14 districts are under the stewardship of the Kerala Forest Department and like all other protected areas of India receive support from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (India).

Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve[edit | edit source]

The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is a biosphere reserve in India established in 2001, located in the southernmost end of the Western Ghats and includes 3,500.36 km2 (1,351.50 sq mi) of which 1828 km2 is in Kerala and 1672.36 km2 is in Tamil Nadu. It encompasses the following wildlife sanctuaries: Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, and Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve became part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2016.

Community involvement[edit | edit source]

People's Plan Campaign, held in 1996 in Kerala State, was an experiment in decentralization of powers to local governments with focus on local planning. Kerala State lies in the south-west part of India. In India's Ninth Five-Year Plan, each state within the national federation was expected to draw up its own annual plan and the People's Plan was an offshoot of it.

In the beginning of the ninth plan, the Government of Kerala took a bold decision to devolve 35 percent of the state development budget down from a centralized bureaucracy to local governments where local people could determine and implement their own development priorities. This was implemented through the People's Plan Campaign (PPC) under the joint supervision of the Department of Local Self-Government and State Planning Board.

Ethical consumerism[edit | edit source]

The state's tourism agenda promotes ecologically sustained tourism, which focuses on the local culture, wilderness adventures, volunteering and personal growth of the local population. Efforts are taken to minimize the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment and enhance the cultural integrity of local people. W

Towards sustainable economies[edit | edit source]

The Kerala model of development refers to the economic practices adopted by the Indian state of Kerala. It is characterised by results showing strong social indicators when compared to the rest of the country such as high literacy and life expectancy rates, highly improved access to healthcare, and low infant mortality and birth rates. Despite having a lower per capita income, the state is sometimes compared to developed countries. These achievements along with the factors responsible for such achievements have been considered characteristic results of the Kerala model. Academic literature discusses the primary factors underlying the success of the Kerala model as its decentralization efforts, the political mobilization of the poor, and the active involvement of civil society organizations in the planning and implementation of development policies.

More precisely, the Kerala model has been defined as:

  • A set of high material quality of life indicators coinciding with low per-capita incomes, both distributed across nearly the entire population of Kerala.
  • A set of wealth and resource redistribution programmes that have largely brought about the high material quality-of-life indicators.
  • High levels of political participation and activism among ordinary people along with substantial numbers of dedicated leaders at all levels. Kerala's mass activism and committed cadre are able to function within a large democratic structure, which their activism has served to reinforce.

Trees, woodland and forest[edit | edit source]

The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is a biosphere reserve in the Nilgiri Mountains of the Western Ghats in South India. It is the largest protected forest area in India, spreading across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. It includes the protected areas Mudumalai National Park, Mukurthi National Park, Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu; Nagarhole National Park, Bandipur National Park, both in Karnataka; Silent Valley National Park, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, and Karimpuzha Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala.

An ecosystem of the hill ranges of Nilgiris and its surrounding environments covering a tract of over 5000 square kilometers was constituted as Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in September 1986 under Man and Biosphere Programme. Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve is India's first and foremost biosphere reserves with a heritage, rich in flora and fauna. Tribal groups such as the Badagas, Toda, Kotas, Irulla, Kurumba, Paniya, Adiyan, Edanadan Chettis, Allar, and Malayan are native to the reserve.

Written references[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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