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Saving forests a very broad issue today - Minister Rai

Saving forests a very broad issue today - Minister Rai

Mangalore Today News Network

Udupi, Dec 29, 2015:  Karnataka Minister for Forests B Ramanath Rai said that the forest cover is the life source of human beings and man should, therefore, work towards conserving nature in a larger perspective worldwide.

Minister Rai

The minister was speaking  inaugurating the diary release programme organised by the Karnataka State Guards Association, Udupi district.

Rai said that environmental concern should not be limited to border areas. "The issue is a concern worldwide, as the environment is facing threat all over the globe. People should become aware about the depletion of natural resources. The issue should be taken up globally and awareness should be created among citizens at all levels," he advised.

Stating that the workers in the Forest Department, especially at the lower structures, strive towards preserving the forest, the minister added that the Department should, nevertheless, take up programmes to convince people about the value of the forest.

He added that the government has also initiated programmes to create awareness among all. The ninth standard students are taken for forest tour. The students are introduced to various facets of the forest and their importance. It is a small attempt to make children realise the worth of trees and forest habitat, he explained.

Rai said that the lower cadre officials should be provided appropriate facilities as they face a lot of risk, while working within the forests. He assured that he would talk to the government over providing better facilities to the forest officials at lower cadres.

He said that the Acts of Forest Conservation and Wild Life Conservation impose too many restrictions against using forest and animal resources in order to protect the forest and animals against getting extinct. He added that, with the rising rate of deforestation and the resulting environmental degradation, the Central Government enacted the Forest (Conservation) Act in 1980. "The Act prohibits the deletion of a reserved forest or the diversion of forestland for any non-forest purpose, and prevents the cutting of trees in a forest without the prior consent," he added.

The minister, who later spoke to media and said the government has already sent the report on the Kasturirangan committee recommendations demanding a limitation of the area only to the national parks, reserve forest and eco-sensitive zones. The area would comprise of very limited areas to be covered under the project.

He said that the issue was not in the Supreme Court. It is now under the purview of National Green Tribunal (NGT). He added the other States who failed to send the report on the recommendations are now prefer emulating the Karnataka State report which is dispatched to NGT.

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