DEHRADUN: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar today underlined the need to strike a balance between environment conservation and development, saying both are equally important for the survival of humanity.
Addressing the annual convocation of IFS probationers at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Javadekar said, "Environment conservation and development must go hand-in-hand for the overall development of humanity."
The key is to develop sustainable utilisation of natural resources with a strong commitment to eradicate poverty and hunger globally, and this can be achieved most effectively by putting common people at the centre of the development process, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change said.
Observing that the strong foundation of local self governance in the form of panchayats and gram sabhas uphold people's representation in the governance process, the Union Minister called on the young officers to work in close coordination with these decentralised institutions.
He also advised them to become facilitators in converting the threats to forests into opportunities by eradicating poverty.
As young professionals, the officers should keep in mind that decisions to be taken by them shall have far reaching long term consequences on ecological foundations of nation.
Javadekar also advised the foresters community to address climate change impacts which is emerging as a global concern.
He exhorted the young officers to always remember Mahatma Gandhi's advice of always pondering over how their action is going to impact the life of the poorest and most miserable person they have seen in their life.
He expressed confidence that the training imparted at the IGNFA will prepare the officers for tough challenges that lie ahead of them in their careers.
IGNFA Director Vinod Kumar informed that all the Indian Forest Service officers in India and around 341 forest officers from 14 neighbouring countries have been trained at the institution which has served the country for the past 75 years.
A total of 76 IFS probationers have been trained at the institute in the present 2013-15 course, Kumar said.