The Goa Foundation was founded in the year 1986, celebrating its 25 years in 2011. These began with Goa's first public interest litigation on the protection of the sand dunes of Salcette. Eventually, the organisation has filed more than 100 PILs in the Bombay High Court (Panaji bench) and the Supreme Court of India. In between, there have been several major initiatives which the organisation undertook as part of its founding duty to protect the Goan environment from unnecessary harm.

The “Highlights” provides a summary of the main events of those 25 years and beyond.

1987

First Public Interest Litigation in Goa

First PIL filed in Bombay High Court (Goa Bench) for cancellation of mining leases to extract silica sands from south Goa beaches. Petition is argued successfully by Adv. Ferdinho Rebello, who is later elevated as a judge of the Bombay High Court. More than a hundred PILs would be filed by the organization thereafter for protection of various aspects of Goa’s environment: beaches, forests, rivers, turtle nesting sites, mining degradation, Konkan Railway, etc.

Western Ghats Peace March

Goa Foundation participated in the historic 100-day march through the Western Ghats, commencing November 1987.

1992

Ecoforum launched to deal with DUPONT's Nylon 6,6 project

The Goa Foundation, together with a number of other Goan environment groups, forms ECOFORUM, with the sole purpose and objective of defeating the Nylon 6,6 project associated with US chemical multinational, Du Pont. The company retreats after a successful ECOFORUM campaign.

1993

First Citizens' report on Goa's environment published: Fish, Curry, and Rice.

The first momentous publication of Fish Curry and Rice, a citizen’s report on Goa’s ecology and environment. The book was released in Panaji by Smt. Maneka Gandhi. It has gone into several editions ever since, with major revisions.

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1997

The Goa Law Reference is published

The Foundation published the Goa Law Reference, a major legal work that includes the draft Report of the Goa Law Commission and comprehensive list of laws existing in the State of Goa till September 30, 1997. The volume was introduced by Senior Adv. Manohar Usgaoncar, Additional Solicitor General of India.

Supreme Court of India nominates Goa Foundation to M.G.K. Menon Committee on Hazardous Wastes

Goa Foundation is nominated through its Director on the Prof.M.G.K. Menon High Powered Committee on Hazardous Wastes by the Supreme Court of India. This work, which involved visiting hundreds of sites all over India, took three years to complete and ended with a judgement of the Supreme Court dated 14.10.2003. Supreme Court thereafter promptly nominated the Goa Foundation Director to a further term of environmental supervision as a member of its Monitoring Committee (SCMC) which worked from 2003 to 2007.

1998

Ministry of Environment nominates Goa Foundation on Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA)

The Goa Foundation is nominated through its director to the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA). It is the only NGO appointed to a coastal authority set up under the Environment Protection Act, 1986. Term of appointment is three years.

Goa Environment Federation started.

Goa Foundation joined with public spirited citizens and NGOs of Goa to set up an Environment Commission to conduct public hearings on Goa's pressing environmental issues. The Commission's hearings led to the formation of the Goa Environment Federation. The Goa Environment Federation, among other issues, took up the case of the monsoon ban on fishing, food festivals on beaches, noise pollution, plastic waste and destruction of mangroves.

1999

Plastic-free Goa Campaign

The Foundation together with Goa Environment Federation, launched the all-Goa Plastic Free Campaign. Hundreds of Goans were involved in the project, through citizens groups, schools, NGOs, etc., to clean up public areas of plastic waste. The campaign commenced on October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti) and concluded on December 19 (Goa Liberation Day).

2000

Goa's Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

Ministry of Environment nominates Goa Foundation and the Forest Department of Goa to draft the State's Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, with the assistance of the State's environmental NGOs and biodiversity researchers. Report on the State's biodiversity and suggested plans to conserve it were submitted to the Ministry of Environment & Forests in July 2002.

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Publishes Green Goa Tourist Guide

Publication of the Green Goa Tourist Guide. The newsletter, which was distributed free in shacks and hotels, provided useful information to tourists on how they could enjoy their visit to Goa without causing it environmental distress.

Norman Dantas Memorial Prize

The Norman Dantas Prize is instituted in memory of the late Norman dantas, a founder trustee of the Foundation. The first award was given to Mr Dadu Mandrekar, one of Goa's well known Dalit poets and activists. Subsequently, other eminent persons including Gurunath Kelekar and Patricia Pinto were also awarded the Prize.

2001

Project to Implement Garbage Regulations

The Foundation launches a project to make panchayats aware of the garbage regulations prevailing in the State and how to implement them. The project is supported by the Department of Science, Technology and Environment. The Goa Garbage Times is published as part of the project.

2002

Innovative Rehabilitation of Mine Site commenses.

Goa Foundation commences a unique project together with Dr Margarita Correa of Auroville to rehabilitate a mining site belonging to the Dempo Mining Corporation. The Foundation joined the project on an honorary basis and effectively showed the mining company how it could recondition its degraded soils to become hospitable to plants and trees with the assistance of garbage imported from the Mapusa Municipal market, vetiver grass and EM (Effective Microorganisms).

Courses on Public Interest Litigation launched for the public.

The Foundation organizes successful courses on public interest litigation, concentrating largely on environment law. The courses are conducted in Panaji and Margao and are swamped by interested litigants who want to approach the courts on their own.

2004

Goa Foundation files Supreme Court petition on Environment Clearances.

The first momentous publication of Fish Curry and Rice, a citizen’s report on Goa’s ecology and environment. The book was released in Panaji by Smt. Maneka Gandhi. It has gone into several editions ever since, with major revisions.

UN-GEF Small Grants Project launched.

The first momentous publication of Fish Curry and Rice, a citizen’s report on Goa’s ecology and environment. The book was released in Panaji by Smt. Maneka Gandhi. It has gone into several editions ever since, with major revisions.

Birds of Goa book published

The Foundation releases its new book on the birds of Goa, written by Heinz Lainer, an ornithologist and resident of Goa for several decades.

2004

Green Goa Works Environment Company Launched

The Goa Foundation’s concern with environmental pollution from garbage and sewage led it to initiate formation of a green company called Green Goa Works which would work exclusively on providing services to housing and estates on how to treat and convert garbage into manure, and sewage into a resource for plants. GGW has now taken over the SGPDA market in Margao and is installing new features that will ensure permanent system for cleanliness of the market.

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2006

Project to create arrangements for plastic waste launched.

The Goa Foundation takes up a separate one-year Goa government supported proposal to create effective arrangements for disposal of plastic litter in the State.

2008

Goa Foundation takes over Goa's Largest Garbage Dump at Sonsoddo

The Goa Government approached the GF for assistance to deal with the old accumulated waste at Sonsoddo and eventually it approved the GF’s proposal to construct a landfill and clear out all the accumulated waste by 31 May 2009 at a cost of approx. Rs. 4 crores. In January 2009 the Govt disbursed over Rs. 3 crores to the MMC for the purpose and constituted a Monitoring Committee to oversee the work. The Foundation clears up the dumpsite, creates space, and after three months, organizes a tea party on the dumpsite, with the Minister for Urban Development attending. The Governor of Goa later visits the site. The project to clear the site of the accumulated waste of several decades is then killed by internal opposition from some ministers. The MMC obliges. Goa Foundation withdraws.

2008

Goa Govt. approves GF's Plastic Waste Project

The Goa government agrees to fund a two year project of the Goa Foundation for finding solutions to plastic waste in the State. The GF worked the project with Nirmal Vishwa at its Lokvan site in Ponda. The site functions now as a collection point for waste from Bandora village and Ponda town.

Regional Plan submissions to Task Force

The Goa Foundation is heard by the Task Force on the Regional Plan. Provides background history of efforts to protect Goa's ecology and environment which the Task Force may not have heard of.

2009

GOAMAP Initiated

This new network was set up with the collaboration of GAKUVED and led to a coalition of village groups and associations working to control illegal mining in the state of Goa.

Fish Processing at Mapusa Market

The Foundation works out an agreement to set up and manage a composting unit dealing exclusively with the fish wastes from the Mapusa fish market. The unit runs well for over a year before it is handed over to the municipal council to run.

2011

Western Ghats Panel

The Foundation organised a team of Goan experts to depose in detail before the Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel on all aspects of the Western Ghats in Goa.

Justice M.B. Shah Commission Enquiry Into Illegal Mining

The Foundation made a detailed presentation before the Commission on all aspects of illegal mining in Goa, in addition to submitting a written document with important exhibits.

2012

Foundation moves the National Green Tribunal on the Western Ghat Panel Report

Together with other NGOs working in the Western Ghats, the Foundation files an application before the National Green Tribunal to seek implementation of the recommendations made in the report of the Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel (WGEEP) set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The Tribunal grants interim relief, and restrains the authorities from granting environment clearance for any project falling with the ESZ1 zone declared by the Panel.

2012

Mining in Goa halted by Supreme Court

On 5th October 2012, the Supreme Court of India, on a writ petition filed by the Goa Foundation under Article 32 of the Constitution, disallows the re-start of mining in the State of Goa till further notice. Judgement on the petition was delivered by the Supreme Court's Green Bench on 21.4.2014. The judgement required State of Goa to set up the Goan Iron Ore Permanent Fund to receive part of the revenues from the sale of minerals including iron ore for the use of future generations. For more details:

Visit "The State of Mining in Goa" by Goa Foundation.