Unpaid custodians of forests should be compensated says Dhumal

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Palampur, May 30 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today said the state will take every step to mitigate the effect of climate change but added that the country and the world should compensate unpaid custodians of the forest area as it cost our peoples' livelihood.

''Natural assets should be priced in balance sheets of companies as forest dwellers were made to sacrifice their basic needs to preserve forests,'' the Chief Minister said.

''In the view of ban on green felling in the state and limited gas supply to meet the demand, poor people are suffering as they do not have the required wood for fire in the kitchen and are not allowed to cut their own trees even for their funeral rites,'' Mr Dhumal added.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the tenth World Conference on Environment Management, organised by World Environment Foundation in association with Institute of Directors (IOD) and World Council of Corporate Governance, UK, the Chief Minister called upon all the nations to strike a balance between economic development and climate change and should price natural capital in balance sheets.

''Only by attaching economic worth to our natural assets, we can pave the way for energy efficiency, material intensity minimisation and less polluted climate as when we cut one tree we use its five per cent potential and lose its 95 per cent potential,'' he added.

Mr Dhumal was also conferred upon the Golden Peacock Award for environmental leadership by former Prime Minister of Sweden Ola Ullsten. The World Environment Foundation has chosen him for his outstanding work in combating climate change in the hilly area.


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