Dehradun, June 19 (ANI/Business Wire India): Urging the state administration, policy-makers and stakeholders to draft a proper definition of sustainable development for the state of Uttarakhand, the Chief Minister Major General BC Khanduri stressed for a need to shoulder with masses and build awareness amongst them in areas of natural resources protection and overall development.
He was talking at the first ever Uttarakhand Sustainable Development Summit (USDS) 2008 organized by the Government of Uttarakhand and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Dehradun.
The Chief Minister said that the state needs a people friendly and rural oriented model of development that does not disrupt the life of masses an the livelihoods of the rural population, but helps them grow in every aspect of life, be it economic development or ecological development or management of natural resources.
He also requested Dr RK Pachauri, DG TERI and Chairman IPCC to advise his government with a complete plan to save the river Ganga, which is his main focus at the moment as a conscience environmentalist and Chief Minister.
Speaking on the occasion and commenting on the degradation of the states natural resources Dr RK Pachauri, Director General TERI and Chairman IPCC said, "the economic progress of Uttarakhand has been rapid hence it is vital for the state to tread on a path which incorporates a natural resources friendly developmental strategy which also accounts for the impending impacts of climate change."
He further said "Today unsustainable development has exceeded the capacity of the state's ecosystem and by ignoring a proper mechanism, not only the state will have to face a major economic loss but the impacts will also be felt by the downstream states which Uttarakhand caters to or which are dependent on the ecosystem of the state of Uttarakhand."
While giving a detailed overview of the states already implemented practices, VP Das, Principal Secretary and Commissioner Forest and Rural Development said, "Despite of many implementations by the state government, there is still a need for a proper and sustainable mechanism to be built upon and through the deliberations and outcomes of this summit a policy imperative can be chalked out that would also benefit the future generations."
Addressing the issue of sustainable development as the most pertinent issue for this young state, RS Sharma, Chairman ONGC said "Sustainable development for the state of Uttarkhand is a criticality now and with the major growth the state will witness in the coming few years, it will be more imperative for the state to formulate a climate change and development strategy."
He further said stressed that the state needs to focus on alternative energy options as the viability of the present resources are depleting fast. He assured ONGC's commitment to combat this issue for the state.
The two-day summit was inaugurated by the Chief Minister and has the presence of various stakeholders such as local government agencies, multilaterals, corporates and researchers to discuss the way forward for the sustainable development of the State.
Broadly the summit aims to look into issues ranging from Climate Change challenges, agriculture, forestry, water, energy, policy and institutional issues with focus on market mechanisms for the state of Uttarakhand.
It is expected that the outcome of this two-day seminar will create awareness on the State's climate change issues and discuss the potential offered by Uttarakhand's natural resources base for sustainable development.
Therefore functioning as a forum to nurture opportunities, develop inclusive networks for sustainable development of the State and identify a way forward.