Ecological practice in publishing to benefit environment

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New Delhi, Apr 5 (UNI) Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said a dialogue between publishers, paper manufacturers and printers on sustainable and ecologically sound practices in publishing would help generate workable ideas and concepts that would benefit industry as well as the environment.

Speaking after inaugurating the event "Pathways to Green Publishing: a stakeholders' dialogue on ecological and sustainable publishing practices", Ms Dikshit said one of the most important advances towards paper-free publishing had been digitization of books, both on the web and off it.

Ms Dikshit said Pathways to Green Publishing, jointly organized by Delhi Government's Environment Department and The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI), had brought all high profile publishers, paper manufacturers and printers together on a platform for a dialogue on future prospects in publishing that takes into account environmental concerns.

In her inaugural address at the conference, where Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Namo Narain Meena, Director-General TERI R K Pachauri and Environment Secretary J K Dadoo were among those present, Ms Dikshit said,''digital giants like Google have already put a library book digitisation process in place, a move that could transform the world of publishers, librarians, authors, readers, and researchers. And what is more, it is environment-friendly too, as old books, after having been digitised could be pulped and used as raw material for making recycled paper. The searches on the website are also user-friendly and can be customized.'' The Chief Minister said not only does the paper industry uses huge amounts of water but wastewater released from paper mills contains dangerous chemicals that were also highly polluting.

On TERI's efforts to involve children in preservation of the environment, Ms Dikshit said,''children are our future leaders and what better than to convert them into environmental crusaders from this very tender age. The efforts made by TERI in this regard are farsighted and visionary, especially the publication of books on environment for children. These are by far some of the best Indian children's book that I have seen in a long time. I am told that the press is planning a large number of series on environment and would be very interested to follow their progress.'' Speaking on this occasion, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Namo Narain Meena said the paper industry is the sixth largest consumer of energy as well as natural resources in the country.

He expressed his satisfaction over this conference to provide a platform for where all stakeholders' to put forward their opinions.

Mr Meena said the path of sustainable development offers long-term protection to environment.

''However, as a developing nation struggling to bring millions of people out of poverty, our objective is to see that policy decisions aimed at protection of the environment should also ensure economic growth and accelerating poverty alleviation,''the Minister said.

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