Union Minister for Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Shri Prakash Javadekar, addressed the 5th Convocation of Forest Research Institute (FRI) Deemed to be University at Dehradun today. The Minister said that it is everyone’s duty to conserve the environment and the students of forestry can lend a big hand in this endeavour. Shri Javadekar also gave a clarion call to make the conservation of forests a people’s movement. He also added that while forest officials were responsible for protection of the wildlife, it would not be possible without the help of the people living in the forests. On the issue of man-elephant conflict, the Minister said that we should ensure that the forests contain enough resources for the wildlife so that it is not induced to venture into the human settlements.
Shri Siddhanta Das, Director General of Forests and Special Secretary to Govt. of India, MoEF&CC; Dr. S.C. Gairola, Chancellor, FRI and Director General, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun and Sh. A.S. Rawat, Vice-chancellor, FRI were also present at the function.
Earlier during the day, the Minster inaugurated the new buildings of Guest House and Women’s Hostel at the Wildlife Institute of India at Dehradun. The Minister also addressed the Annual General Meeting of the Institute. The Minister of Forests and Environment for Uttarakhand, ShriHarak Singh Rawat was also present at the occasion. The Minister presided over the presentation of the annual report and the annual general meeting of the Institute.
Speaking at the occasion, Shri Javadekar outlined the importance of safeguarding the pristine natural environment for the future generations. He said that we have to chalk out a path to sustainable development which balances the demands of growth with the need to conserve our natural heritage. In this regard he appreciated the efforts by the scientific community at the Wildlife Institute of India in establishing the unique laboratory to study the genomics of wildlife. He also congratulated the scientists for their efforts in conservation of critically endangered bird, The Great Indian Bustard.