Dr Patel's silent contribution to nature conservation recognised

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Anand, Jun 5 (UNI) Better known for her contribution to the development of the dairy sector, the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puruskar (IGPP) recognises Dr Amrita Patel's many years of service in the conservation of nature and natural resources.

While receiving the award today at the hands of President Partibha Patil, Dr Patel, who is the chairperson of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), said ''I am honoured to receive the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar as it reinforces and recognises the efforts made by the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) in putting in place the process of coordinated human effort and governance towards the conservation of land and water resources,'' an NDDB release said here.

Dr Patel has served on the Board of Governors of WWF India, Indian Institute of Forest Management and several committees on conservation. Her one of the most significant contribution has been as founder chairperson of the FES, Anand.

The FES works towards the ecological restoration of degraded landscapes through a wide range of village level institutions.

FES actively seeks to centre-stage an ecological agenda in an otherwise economically dominated worldview, and reorient progress with a strong conservation and social justice perspective.

Dr Patel urged, ''The foremost concern must be to ensure that we sustain the productivity of the basic resources -- soil, water and the country's natural vegetative cover, and the biodiversity it sustains and the ecological processes that support the foundations of our existence. To ignore the overriding importance of this, is to put the Nation's future and articularly the poor in the gravest jeopardy.'' FES assists village communities in managing and governing 85,800 hectares of revenue ''wastelands'', degraded forest lands, and panchayat grazing lands through more than 1200 village-level institutions such as panchayats, village forest committees, gramya jungle committees, tree growers cooperatives, van panchayats, and others.

UNI MP MAZ RL PM1705

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