Bhopal: Chief Minister of central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan has emphasised the need to save the forests to conserve and maintain the environment.
The chief minister issued a stern warning saying the human race will not survive if forests are not protected. The Chief Minister was addressing 2-day conference of Chief Conservators of Forests at the Academy of Administration here.
The Chief Minister said that there has been a tradition in India to worship plants and trees. Worshipping of trees signifies that life is incomplete without forests. Indian culture calls for protecting natural resources and not their reckless exploitation. Forest cover in the state is expanding continuously due to the good work done under the joint forest management committees, he said adding to save our forests, employment opportunities should be provided to the forest dwellers. The chief minister went on to point out that effort has been made in this direction by the state government by announcing support price for forest produce. Employment is also being provided through the Bamboo Mission.
Mr. Chouhan instructed that schemes should be formulated and implemented taking into consideration the problems being faced and various needs of the forest communities. Forest Department in collaboration with Health Department should hold health camps in villages and public participation in forest management should be promoted, he went on to advise.
Forest Minister Dr. Shejwar said that forest dwellers’ all-round development is being ensured through joint forest management committees. Forest guards have been trained to provide health facilities in forest villages. Role of divisional officers is significant in development and conservation of forests. Principal Secretary Forests Deepak Khandekar said that the department would undertake environmental and forest conservation work keeping in focus the priorities of the state government.
At the outset, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Narendra Kumar threw light on convention objectives. He informed that discussions will be held at the convention on joint forest management, wildlife management, forest conservation and methods to expand the sources of livelihood in forest areas