Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Ministry of Environment and Forests meets today

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (ANI): A meeting of Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forest was held here today.

Presided over by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests R. Regupathy, the meeting reviewed forest management programmes, conservation and strengthening of forest protection machinery.

Members praised a Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMC) work and suggested that Members of Parliament should be involved in the District or State level committees.

They also expressed concern on environmental issues and asked for more stress on activities regarding preservation of environment and climate.

Lauding Ganga and Yamuna Action Plans, they said the small rivers in the States are also being polluted because of effluents released by industries in the rivers without any treatment. In small towns and cities, potable water is supplied from these rivers hence stringent measures should be taken against these industries without curbing economic growth.

Members expressed deep concern on disappearing tigers in Sariska and Panna Wild Life Sanctuaries.

The Minister assured that action would be taken against responsible officers through the State Government machineries.

Inaugurating the meeting, R. Regupathy said that the National Forest Policy of 1988 gives precedence to conservation over commercial exploitation.

"The management of forests has been oriented towards its sustainable management with a view to improve both the environment and the living conditions of the people associated with forests for livelihood. Nearly one-fourth of the geographical area is under forest and tree cover in India. About five per cent of this geographical forest area has been set aside as protected areas," Regupathy said.

The Minister explained that with merely 2.5 per cent of the world's geographical area we support world's largest cattle and second largest human population. This creates immense pressure on over forests.

"The financial allocation which is below one per cent of the total Plan outlays, ban on fresh recruitments by the State Governments and the average age of 50 years of the frontline forestry staff create grim situation for forests. However, involvement of local people in conservation and management of forests is one silver line,' the Minister added.

The Joint Forest Management movement has helped to overcome certain pressures on the forests. (ANI)

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