BENGALURU: The preparation of ‘Vision Document-2030’ by Karnataka Forest Department in collaboration with Dutch agency KPMG has landed them in trouble. Following protests from environmentalists, the Forest Department cancelled its workshop on Friday. The workshop was to be held for eliciting opinions from a select group of individuals for preparation of the document.
The KFD’s ‘Vision Document-2030’ was to outline the governing principles for next several years. Leo F Saldanha of Environment Support Group (ESG) who was among the invitees, raised a few concerns about its drafting. Leo Saldanha said, “While the initiative itself is laudable and unprecedented amongst all states, the process in which it is being undertaken has caused serious alarm among concerned sections of the public. Two key issues need to be looked into.
One, less than a dozen organizations were invited and the ‘Vision Document-2030’ was to be drafted by the Forest Department in collaboration with a Dutch consultancy group KPMG, an agency that has been mired in controversy due to its fraudulent entanglements in South Africa and elsewhere. Second, the process of enlisting KPMG appears to have overlooked many government agencies who have conducted such exercises in the past.”
ESG shared these concerns with the offices of the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Forests, various research and civil society organizations and retired forest officials.