Religious colour to the climate conference

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Palampur, May 31 (UNI) Taking a cue from the West where Pope has declared environment pollution as sin, the World Environment Foundation in its three-day long meet here today invited revered Baba Hardev Singhji Maharaj, Chief Nirankari Mission, to spread awareness among the people about dangers of global warming.

The tenth World Conference on Environment Management in its evening session of the second day took a spiritual hue when Baba Hardev Singhji Maharaj, with hundreds of his followers launched the global human chain and made people pledge for working towards combating climate change.

Talking to UNI, Babaji said, ''As spirituality takes away negative energy from the person and pass on positive energy to him, in the same way, one positive step ahead can make a difference in the global climate condition and it is the responsibilty of the educated class.'' Babaji even rode the electricity-run Reva car exhibited in the premises, and appreciated its role in reducing pollution.

Babaji exhorted the common people to show interest in the well being of environment and start contributing towards it.

He urged the business community and the government to take steps at both grassroot and global levels.

Earlier, in the session media's responsibity towards climate change and activation of women and children were also discussed.

Lack of coverage given to environmental issues in vernacular press and disassociation of the issue with the vote bank politics in India were considered to be the prime factors regarding media's lack of interest.

Moreover, the absence of specialised reporters and encouragement has killed the scope of further improvement, said Mr Purab from Times Group, who was chairing the session. Nevertheless he added, ''Some very good English publication and press houses are doing good work and since the country is exploding with so many news channels and the newspapers, there are bright possibilities of moving the world on these issues through media.

Earlier in the day the legal, legislature and enforcement measures for combating climate change and adaptation strategies in face of climate change were discussed.

Accorging to them, ''Climate change is an environment, social and economic injustice which calls for a legislation and its proper execution.'' They agreed on the adaptation strategies for turning climate change as an opportunity to excel, especially in the field of agriculture, fisheries and tourism, as new techniques can not only fulfill the damage but also cater to the new requirements of age.

The day was concluded with Golden Peocock Awards night and cultural programme by school children showcasing special Himachal folk dance Jhamakra. Awards were presented for excellence in Environment Management and Occupational health and Safety.

Prominent speakers of the day were Dr Usha Dar, Director Research and Development World Environment Foundation, Mr T S Seshadri, Dr Ram Pratti President of Weston Solution India Ltd. Pablo C Ortega, City Mayor of San Fernand, La Union (Philippines), Dr A N Saksena, Former Financial Advisor, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dr Tej Pratap, Vice Chancellor, CSKHPKV, Palampur, Dr P S Ahuja, Director, IHBT, CSIR, Palampur and Dr D D Patra, Head, Agro Technology Division Lucknow.

UNI GT SLD HS/VC2302

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