Addressing the inaugural session of the two-day Conference of all Principal Chief Conservators of Forests and Wildlife Wardens on Wednesday, Javadekar said that maintaining and improving the quality of forests is a major challenge.
“We must ensure that degraded forest must be converted into moderately dense forest in 10 years and moderately dense forest must be converted into dense forests in 5 years. To that end, water harvesting and changing some species is a must. Forest research institutes must draw up a distinct plan of improving the quality of each forest, taking the existing flora and climate into consideration,” he said.
Besides encouraging people’s participation, the minister also urged the officers to provide solutions to various challenges. The Minister said that a lot of good work is being done and such success stories and initiatives must be highlighted prominently, pointing out the communication gap.
The two-day Conference will discuss various issues related to forest and wildlife, such as Forest Conservation Act, Eco Sensitive Zones (ESZs) and minimising human-wildlife conflict. Seventy-five PCCFs and higher officials representing all the 32 States are participating in the Conference.
The minister also released a report – “Management effectiveness evaluation of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India, 2006-2014” on the occasion. The agreement to establish the world’s first centre of World Natural Heritage & Training at the Wildlife Institute of India was signed on the occasion.
The Union Cabinet had recently given its approval for signing of agreement between UNESCO and the Government of India and had authorised Director General (Forests) and Special Secretary to Government of India to sign this agreement on behalf of the Government of India.
UNESCO has initiated a process of decentralisation and empowerment of the member countries of the UNESCO convention and as a part of this process, it has identified 9 countries in the world for establishment of Category 2 centres for protection of cultural heritage. In the field of natural heritage, UNESCO has selected India for the establishment of the world’s first centre of World Natural Heritage Management & Training at the Wildlife Institute of India.