SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday addressed the ‘One Earth, Shared Future’ programme organized by the Forest Department here at SKICC.
The event marked the commemoration of World Environment Day. The themes of International Day for Biological Diversity and Environment Day were combined to encourage people for preserving and conserving the ecosystem.
In his address, the Lt Governor highlighted the need for coordinated action and collective partnership, besides making changes in our behavior and lifestyle to tackle the impact of climate change and reducing the carbon footprint for protecting the environment and conserving Biodiversity.
We are blessed with nature’s rich resources but also confronted with multiple challenges of a fragile ecosystem which requires collective action to create a fine balance between man and nature, said the Lt Governor.
Climate change is a reality. We are experiencing it in the form of climate extremes, like the unprecedented heat wave and untimely heavy rainfall which are challenging and endangering the existing ecosystem. This year’s theme of World Environment Day ‘Only One Earth’ is a reminder to the entire world that Environmental Protection or Sustainable Lifestyle is not the job of a select few, but a collective responsibility of each one of us, added the Lt Governor.
Ecological sensibilities, conservation of natural inheritance, sustainable lifestyle and holistic approach for an environment-friendly development path can strengthen our capacity to deal with the environmental crises and reverse the environmental degradation, the Lt Governor observed.
We are an intrinsic part of nature. For our future generations, everyone must contribute to maintaining the delicate balance of nature. Ecological harmony and pragmatic steps like the synergy between economic growth and environmental protection for projects can effectively address climate change, added the Lt Governor.
Highlighting J&K Government’s consistent efforts toward environmental protection, the Lt Governor noted that the protected area network is around 12% of the geographical area which is more than double the national average of 5%. “Our focus is the industrial environment through nature based solutions” he added.
In J&K, with the active participation of PRIs and the people, the administration is implementing innovative programs like Green J&K Drive, Har Gaon Hariyali, One Beat Guard, One Village, City Biodiversity Index, Paed Lagaye Har Beti Ke Naam, Forest Huts for Sustainable Tourism, Trek Routes etc for protecting and increasing the forest cover, besides promoting green and sustainable systems through interventions in agriculture, alternative energy resources, preventing erosion in forests, fighting pollution and encroachment of rivers and ponds, he added.
The Lt Governor called upon the Forest Department to start Green Innovation Program at the Universities of J&K, IIT Jammu and NIT Srinagar to promote Green Innovation among the youth. He also urged all DCs, PRI representatives and J&K Rural Livelihood Mission to start the process of giving a ‘Green Label’ on products of all Self Help Groups after passing the tests and validations. He further asked the PRI representatives to identify the works related to the restoration of the ecosystem in their respective panchayats.
The Lt Governor asked the Jammu and Srinagar Municipal Corporations to develop Smart Cities as Climate-Smart Cities and run a “City with Nature” a year-long campaign with public participation to prevent water, air and plastic pollution. He further advised all the government departments to achieve the goals of bringing an end to the use of single-use plastic, and strengthening the Waste Management System. He directed the concerned officers to complete the remaining work of LED bulb installation in all the offices within the next 15 days.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor also urged the people of J&K to isolate elements to promote peace.
In J&K we are witnessing another kind of pollution, exported by our neighboring country and it is threatening our social harmony. Militants are targeting innocent men, women and even children. Society must speak up now; Communities must come together as one entity to fight this menace, the Lt Governor said.
Militancy has no place in our society. I call upon every citizen to isolate elements, and expose their brutality. It is the fundamental duty of every citizen towards the nation to protect and promote peace, the Lt Governor observed.
Our police and security forces are fighting the menace with restraint and fairness and saving innocent lives. Our forces will keep responding effectively and firmly resolved to finish the destructive threat of militancy, added the Lt Governor.
Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, while speaking on the occasion, called upon the people, especially the younger generation to take effective measures for the protection and conservation of the environment.
Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner/Secretary to the Government, Department of Forest, Ecology And Environment; Dr Mohit Gera, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests ( HoFF) and Chairman J&K Biodiversity Council, and S Rakesh Kumar, Director Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing highlighted the deliverables of the department aimed at protecting the environment and increasing the green cover in J&K.
T Rabi Kumar, Additional PCCF Kashmir delivered the Vote of Thanks.
On this occasion, the Lt Governor released a special cover by the Department of Posts, GoI in commemoration of 111 years of foundation of Kashmir Forest Training School Chitternar.
The Lt Governor presented awards to the winners of “GreenLIFE Contest” and launched the prototype of GreenLIFE mobile application – an initiative which will motivate people to reduce their daily carbon footprint.
Various publications on Environment and Biodiversity conservation included Wetlands Inside Forest, Geospatial Monitoring of Dal Lake, Framework Note on Disaster Resilient Cities for Jammu & Srinagar, ‘Jungle JaivVividhata’ by J&K Biodiversity Council, besides Nature Asset Maps of Smart Cities of Jammu & Srinagar and short films and videos on Wetlands of Forests; ‘One Beat Guard, One Village Program’ were also released to mark the day.
Earlier, on his arrival, the Lt Governor inspected the stalls installed by the various departments and school students, and also planted a sapling.
D V Mahesh, Chief Postmaster General, J&K Circle; Administrative Secretaries; Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; senior officers, besides PRI members, representatives of several NGOs, teachers and students from various schools were present on the occasion.