Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Mr. Prakash Javadekar has said that the collective partnership of all stakeholders was necessary to mainstream the essence of sustainable development and ensure the protection of environment. The new initiatives of the Ministry needed to be linked with the vision and road map that addressed the concern of all stakeholders. The mobilization of people was necessary in order to ensure the promotion of more nature-friendly practices. India’s rich heritage and positive thinking within the domain of environment gave a new vocabulary to the understanding of environmental issues. The Minister stated this while addressing the delegates at the World Environment Day celebrations.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Javadekar threw light upon the vision of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi for changing the nomenclature of the Ministry to “Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change”. The change was a deep thought initiative taking into account the contemporary trends related to issues pertaining to climate change. He assured that India would have a proactive role in the International events related to environment in the days to come.
Mr. Javadekar announced that the new system for online submission of applications for environmental clearances launched earlier was fully operational from today. He further added that no applications would be entertained for clearances through any route except for online method from 1st July, 2014. This step was an indication of promoting transparency in governance and better functioning of the Ministry.
Elaborating further, the Minister said that after 42 years of celebrating the World Environment Day on a continuous basis the need of the hour was to introspect and evaluate the efforts and steps taken in the direction of environment conservation. The challenge before the community was to clean all water bodies and remove the distortions in the quality of air. In the current environment it was also a challenge to address the issues related to solid waste management. In this context, he emphasized on the age-old philosophy of considering nature as “Mother Earth”, thus striving hard to maintain the balance between nature and community as a whole.
During his address the Minister further mentioned that on the occasion of World Environment Day his endeavour had been to involve stakeholders which included parliamentarians. For this purpose earlier in the day, he mentioned that saplings had been sent to all parliamentarians so as to evoke a positive response from them. The Minister also assured that many initiatives would be unveiled in the Ministry in coming days which include inviting suggestions from the officials and public for environment protection, motivation sessions for the Ministry officials. One of the key initiatives proposed to be undertaken even included the designing of government advertisements through crowd-sourcing, where the best designs would be rewarded accordingly.
During the function, Mr. Javadekar also released a special poster on the Islands and Coastal Areas of India. It is to be noted that this year the theme for World Environment Day is “Small Island Developing States". The Minister also released various books and reference guides related to environment and wild-life which included books on animal and plant discoveries, Fifth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity, India’s First Biennial Update Report to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and a book on Indian Mammals were released. Awards were also presented on the occasion. The awards included “Young Environmentalist of the Year Award” to highlight and appreciate the efforts by individuals to come up with new-age technology in preserving environment. The Minister also gave away awards instituted to encourage identified categories and their contribution towards development and use of clean technologies, products and practices.
Prof. M.S. Swaminathan a noted Scientist and the Guest of Honor of the event delivered the Key Note Address on the theme of World Environment Day. Prof. M.S. Swaminathan gave an overview of the problems pertaining to the coastline eco-system in the country and its implications on the environment and the people at large. The function was also attended by Secretary Environment, DG: Forests and other senior officials from the Ministry and concerned stakeholders.
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