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J&K govt committed to ensuring ecologically sustainable development: LG

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On International Day of Forests, stresses on modernizing forest & wildlife management system

Jammu: Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday said his administration is committed to ensuring ecologically sustainable development as “the biggest challenge today is to create a fine balance between man and nature”.

Sinha was speaking at a function organised here to celebrate the International Day of Forests.

The event under the theme “Forests and Sustainable Production and Consumption” aims to raise awareness on combating climate change, environmental conservation, efficient use of forests for prosperity and well-being of current and future generations.

“The J&K government is committed towards ensuring ecologically sustainable development… the wisdom and the experience of local communities must be utilized to preserve our forests and natural habitats,” the LG said.

He termed the initiative as a significant effort to raise awareness among people for the protection of invaluable forests and making them realize their responsibilities to save forests.

“Sustainable forest management and efficient use of its resources is the key to combat climate change and ensure a prosperous ecosystem for future generations,” he said.

Highlighting the important role of forests in climate change mitigation, Sinha called for involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions, and other non-government institutions working at gross-root level in forest protection and conservation efforts.

“This will prove to be an important step towards participatory governance in natural resource management,” he remarked.

The LG stressed that it is important to ensure that rights of traditional forest dwellers, who have been residing in the nature’s lap for generations, are not infringed upon.

“The historic implementation of the Forest Rights Act in the Union Territory under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has benefitted large population of our tribal brothers dependent on forests,” he said.

The LG also stressed the need to modernize the Forest and Wildlife management system and involve the forest dwellers in the social movement for the conservation of the environment.

He advised the Forest department to encourage and recognize the contribution of women in forestry and wildlife conservation.

“A sapling should be planted in every village in the name of a newborn girl child to create awareness among the present and future generations about the rights of our daughters, and developing consciousness amongst the people about our natural heritage,” he said.

Earlier, the LG conferred Union Territory-level awards to frontline staff of Forest and Wildlife department for their outstanding contribution in protection of forests and wildlife, afforestation, and plantation work.

“The Forest department’s endeavours towards the growth of sustainable forest economy and support to stakeholders dependent on forests, creating livelihood opportunities, especially for women SHGs are also appreciable,” he said.

The LG also underlined that forestry and soil conservation works should aim towards provision and augmentation of water in Kandi areas.

“The ‘Green J&K Drive’; the ‘One Beat Guard, One Village’ initiative; ‘Har Gaon Hariyali’ campaign; besides promotion of eco-tourism through ‘Tourist Village’ network and thrust on development of viable wood based industries are proving to be strong efforts to increase forest cover conservation,” the LG observed.

During the event, the LG released a report on City Biodiversity Index of Jammu and Srinagar cities, Wildlife Atlas of J&K and launched an Android App “Haryali” developed by the Social Forestry department to facilitate the plant distribution schemes.

He lauded the efforts of the J&K Biodiversity Council for development of city Bio-diversity Index of Jammu and Srinagar smart cities.

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