“Jungle is a living entity and it also communicates, provided we have the ability to listen to it. The three essential components – forests, tribal forest dwellers and life forms living in forests complement one another and are not rivals”, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Anil Madhav Dave, said today. He also said that large-scale felling of trees in forests is not being done by tribal forest dwellers. Calling for a change in the colonial outlook that has existed from the pre-Independence period towards forests, tribal forest dwellers and life forms living in forests, the Minister emphasised the need to reduce pressure on forests. He said that agro-forestry, bamboo, or grass can be possible alternatives to reduce this pressure. “Right way of development is the right way of environment. Right way of life and leading a life with minimum carbon footprint is the answer to climate change”, Shri Dave said.
Addressing the inaugural session of the two-day conference of Additional Chief Secretaries (Forests)/Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Wardens here today, the Minister highlighted that India has agreed to take a number of actions on avoluntary basis to meet the commitment under Paris Agreement, Self Development Goals 2030, as well as the recently-concluded agreement on HFCs. The Minister referred to the recent developments at the global as well as national level in the environment sector. He underlined the need to develop an effective strategy to achieve forestry-related NDC targets, which India had submitted under the Paris agreement. Shri Dave also referred to new developments at the national level, such as passing of the CAMPA Bill, which paves the way for effective utilization of large sum of funds available under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund. He pointed out that environment and development have always gone hand-in-hand. He highlighted the need to plant trees and more importantly, protect and conserve them Shri Dave also underlined the importance of connecting the younger generation to forests.
The central theme of the conference is development without destruction, peoples’ participation, building skills and capacities of the workforce, as well as people dependent on forests and illegal trade in wildlife and timber. The Conference will discuss important issues related to forestry and wildlife.The focus will be on various issues related to wildlife conservation and management on the second day of the conference tomorrow. Some of the identified areas for discussion will include human-animal conflict, wildlife crime, illegal wildlife trade and discuss ways to address these issues effectively.The year 2016 represents a very important milestone in the evolution of the Indian Forest Service, as it completes 50 years of its formation as an All India Service. To mark the occasion, a book titled, ‘Golden Leaves - Celebrating 50 years of Indian Forest Service’ was released by the Minister. A short film on the evolution and contribution of IFS to the growth and development of the nation was also screened. Director General, Forest and Special Secretary, Dr. S.S Negi delivered the welcome address, while Additional Director General of Forest, Shri Anil Kumar gave the vote of thanks.