THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Forest Minister Binoy Viswam has said that all political parties will have to formulate an unambiguous policy on issues related to environment. He was speaking at the World Earth Day 2010 observance organised by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) at the Sasthra Bhavan here on Thursday.
``A time will come in the near future when all political parties will be forced to take a clear stand on issues relating to environment. When it comes to protecting the environment, the Left parties should take the initiative. They should take greater responsibility and promote accountability in working out solutions to environmental problems. Only then would Left would really become Left,’’ he said.
The Minister said that there was a trend to ridicule those who talk of earth, environment, flora and fauna as being `anti-developmental’. ``They are not against development, they just insist that we should consider environment and people at large before taking decisions. They also want development, but development should be for the benefit of society,’’ he said. A nation cannot be termed as developed when 70 percent of the population earns less than Rs 20 per day, he said.
Echoing the Minister’s view, KSCSTE executive vice-president C T S Nair said that GDP alone cannot be a scale for measuring development. ``It will be just like looking at the speed of a car and not the fuel efficiency or stock of resources. We need to produce more goods to meet the basic needs and we really need to move towards a green economy,’’ said Nair.
Energy Management Agency director S.K. Khanduri talked of the importance of observing `Earth Day’ in sensitising society on issues like global warming and energy conservation. He was quick to point out the unnecessary use of electrical lights in the Sasthra Bhavan Auditorium which had quite a lot of daylight coming in through the windows. ``The behaviour of society should change to promote sustainable living,’’ he said.
KSCSTE member secretary in-charge in his talk said that while air-conditioners were used to fight heat, this itself contributes to global warming and thus the vicious cycle continues.
The highlight of the technical session was the talk by Dr Thamban Meloth on his experiences in Antarctica. A scientist with the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa, he focused his talk on `Climate Change in Antarctica and its Global Implications’. C. Jayakumar of the Marine and Coastal Survey Division of the Geological Survey of India, Mangalore, also gave an interesting presentation on `Earth and Climate Change’.
There was a group discussion for students in the afternoon co-ordinated by Ajith Venniyoor of the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP).