Monday, May 21, 2012

Protection of Forests

The Minister of State (I/C) for Environment and Forests Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan informed the members of Lok Sabha  that the Ministry of Environment and Forests plans to organise the World Environment Day by flagging off of the train -‘Science Express- Biodiversity Special’ - a collaborative initiative between the Ministry and the Department of Science & Technology. The current decade (2011-2020) has been declared as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity and United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification. With India hosting the Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP-11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), from 8-19 October 2012 in Hyderabad, India, it was considered appropriate to have ‘biodiversity’ as the theme for awareness activities for 2012-13.The Science Express- Biodiversity Special has 8 dedicated coaches to showcase the biodiversity of the country. The train will be travelling across 25 states covering 100 plus stations over two years, and is expected to engage about 2 million people in terms of generating awareness. In 2012, the train will travel to these stations between 5 June 2012 to 22 December 2012.

Smt. Natarajan informed the members that the Ministry has been organizing various awareness programme for promoting protection of forest environment on 5th June, 2012. In the year 2011, India was the global host for celebration of World Environment Day. A range of awareness programmes were organized across the country by the Ministry and its institution. Some of the key programmes included Green Haat, Seminar on Nature & Livelihood: Women’s Perspective, Green Walkathon, Quiz & Painting Competition, and Environmental Film Festival, Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Purashkar, Young Environmentalist Award; release of publication by BSI and ZSI on State of Environment Report and Animal Discoveries were some of the other key awareness initiatives.

The Minister stated that similarly, in years 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 various awareness programmes on Forest & Environment Protection have been organized by the MoEF and its institutions on the eve of World Environment Day. Engagement of children and various other sections of society has been the key feature of these programmes.