Environment and progress can supplement each other and they are not contrary to each other as is general perception. This was the observation of the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Information and Broadcasting at the annual convocation of 2012-14 course of the Indian Forest Service Officer trainees of Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy in Dehradun today. The Minister exhorted the young forest officers to perform their duty to the society with passion, compassion and integrity. He said the forest cover of India has to be increased from present level of 24 per cent to 33 percent and to achieve it the forest officers will have to be innovative in policy, process and outreach. He said instead of more infrastructure, we need more faculty and the forest officers should come forward andwork as faculty to teach the young officers.
The Minister gave away diploma and awards to 78 officer trainees of the 2012-14 batch, including 22 lady officers and 2 officer trainees from Bhutan. This batch consisted of 4 PhDs, 48 Post Graduates and 26 Graduates in different science subjects.
The convocation function was presided over by Dr. S.S.Garbyal, Director General and Special Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
The Minister later also laid foundation stone of UNESCO centre for ‘Natural World Heritage Management and Training for Asia and Pacific Region’ at Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun. On this occasion Shri Javadekar said the demands of nature and the demands of development should not be seen in conflict with each other. He urged the Wildlife Institute of India to help schools and colleges by creating environment related syllabus in easy-to-understand language. He said that on one hand India needs 10 per cent economic growth but on the other, it also needs one percent forest cover growth for development.
Earlier the Union Environment and Forest Minister had deliberations with Shri Harish Rawat, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and the senior officers of the state. The environment Minister agreed to empower the nodal officer of his Ministry in Dehradun for forest clearance upto 5 hectare forest land in 13 types of projects like road, water, electricity etc. The Union Minister also assured to consider releasing 1200 crore rupees under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). He also assured to soften and redefine the parameters to allow quarrying in the rivers.