The Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Javadekar, emphasised that forest and wildlife officers must focus on the 4 ‘I’s – Image, Innovation, Initiative and Interaction. Addressing the inaugural session of the two-day Conference of all Principal Chief Conservators of Forests and Wildlife Wardens here today, Shri Javadekar said that maintaining and improving the quality of forests is a major challenge. He said, “We must ensure that degraded forest must be converted into moderately dense forest in 10 years and moderately dense forest must be converted into dense forests in 5 years. To that end, water harvesting and changing some species is a must. Forest research institutes must draw up a distinct plan of improving the quality of each forest, taking the existing flora and climate into consideration”. He laid emphasis on ensuring people’s participation in changing the quality of forests. He also urged the officers to provide solutions to various challenges. The Minister said that a lot of good work is being done and such success stories and initiatives must be highlighted prominently.
The two-day Conference will discuss various issues related to forest and wildlife, such as Forest Conservation Act, Eco Sensitive Zones (ESZs) and minimising human-wildlife conflict. Seventy-five PCCFs and higher officials representing all the 32 States are participating in the Conference.
Shri Javadekar released a report – “Management effectiveness evaluation of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India, 2006-2014”. The agreement to establish the world’s first centre of World Natural Heritage & Training at the Wildlife Institute of India was signed on the occasion. The Union Cabinet had recently given its approval for signing of agreement between UNESCO and the Government of India and had authorised Director General (Forests) and Special Secretary to Government of India to sign this agreement on behalf of the Government of India. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, has initiated a process of decentralisation and empowerment of the member countries of the UNESCO convention. As a part of this process, UNESCO has identified nine countries in the world for establishment of Category 2 centres for protection of cultural heritage. In the field of natural heritage, UNESCO has selected India for the establishment of the world’s first centre of World Natural Heritage Management & Training at the Wildlife Institute of India.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ashok Lavasa, said that there is a greater need to adhere to the prescribed timelines. He also said that since last year, there has been an increased transparency in the functioning of the Ministry.
Shri Anil Kumar, Additional Director General (FC) in the Ministry delivered the vote of thanks