Engage community in forest conservation efforts: Natung

ITANAGAR, 2 Dec: Minister for environment, forest and climate change Mama Natung exhorted the forest officers to intensify efforts to inform the community about the benefits of biodiversity and engage them in forest conservation efforts.

“Continuous engagement with the people, elected representatives and community based organisations will result in greater awareness of forestry and environment activities,” he said addressing the three-day conference of the senior forest officers here on Friday.

He said that the DFOs and RFOs should participate in Gram Sabhas and reach out to schools.

He stressed on the principle of ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam,’ stating that the entire ecosystem consisting of trees, streams, people, flora and fauna are part of one universal family.

Natung, who inaugurated the conference, said that the coordination meeting should be held once in a quarter to strengthen coordination and collaboration within the department. He further stated that the ‘Team Forest’ should work in synergy for public benefit.

He said that good working officers should be commended and a committee of officers could be formed to identify and recommend such officers for national or state awards.

Principal secretary Dr. Sharat Chauhan stressed the need for respecting the traditions, adopting scientific temperament and professional approach and making optimal use of available resources in working of the forest department.

PCCF Jitendra Kumar presented the activities and innovative projects of the department in details. He said that the forest team is committed to maintaining a clean, green and healthy environment in the state through collaborative efforts and innovative strategies.

PCCF (planning & development) AK Biswal also spoke.

Apart from core forestry issues like CAMPA, diversion of forest land under Forests Conservation Act, protection, biodiversity, wildlife, wood based industries, working plans, innovative subjects, like gun surrender abhiyan, Pakke Declaration, rejuvenation of streams and lakes, carbon sequestration, extension of orchids from tissue culture lab to field to interested public, holistic development of bamboo resources by adopting site to market approach, promotion of economic activities based on medicinal plants, Nagar Van scheme, school nursery programme, Green India Mission, and establishment of a forest museum and memorial at Itanagar were discussed.

Human resource and administrative issues such as welfare of forest department employees, healthy working environment, creation of frontline staffs,  security and development of Van Vigyan Kendra Chessa as an ecotourism centre as well as for refresher training were also discussed.

Publications on gun surrender abhiyan, annual report of Pakke Tiger Reserve and bulletin of Arunachal Pradesh Research were released during the inaugural function.

The chairpersons of the APFCL, APBRDA, Biodiversity Board and Medicinal Plants Board, the principle secretary PCCF Jitendra Kumar and all the senior officers of the department up to the level of DFOs from the entire state are attending the conference.