Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Bali Bhagat today described climate change and global warming as greatest challenge confronting mankind that necessitates collective action to reverse its negative impact.
Addressing media persons and environmental experts at a daylong workshop titled ‘media orientation on climate change reporting’ held at Press Club Jammu, here, the Minister said that world is witnessing abnormal behavior of nature including untimely and heavy rains, severe and prolonged droughts and other environmental hazards which have clearly been linked to climate change. “Global warming has put every country on the globe in great anxiety, forcing them to come together on a single platform to discuss the vital issue and seek solutions to meet the challenge collectively”, he said.
Highlighting the role of media in educating the masses, Mr. Bali said that media impacts minds of people and due to its large reach, media can certainly help in disseminating information about environment issues to a wider audience through its routine reporting. He said, environment is such a subject which is connected with the life of every one, rich or poor, hence it is obligatory on the part of every individual to contribute towards this sacred cause and also educate others to help in promoting the environment to secure future generations.
Elaborating about the initiatives of the Government in conserving natural resources, the Minister said that during the past 9 months over 21000 kanals of forest land has been retrieved from illegal possession of people in different parts of the State. He said new government has decided to free every inch of encroached land and restore these as green cover. Besides, government has decided to undertake a massive plantation drive across the State to rejuvenate the degraded forest areas, said Mr. Bali.
To curb the menace of timber smuggling and other valuable forest produce, Mr. Bali said that the department has devised a well-knit mechanism and stepped up the vigil in sensitive areas and during the same period over 400 vehicles and 200 horses/ponies used in illegal activities have been confiscated. He said government will deal with all such criminals sternly and impose heavy fine to create deterrence, so that no one dares to cause loss to natural resources, he asserted.
Lauding the press club for the noble initiative in organizing this useful workshop, the Minister said that the event could prove useful for the budding journalists. He assured full support from the government in such social initiatives. He also appreciated the CEE and Ahmadabad based organization EEET and Dr. C M Seth for their valuable contribution in educating the masses about environment conservation. He also appreciated the initiative of environment exhibition in moving train “Science Express” organized in November, 2015 at Udhampur and Samba, saying that the event proved useful as thousands of people, especially the students visited got acquainted with the issues related to climate change and efforts to promote the environment.
Director Environment, Ecology and Remote Sensing, Mr. O P Sharma, Eminent Environmentalist, Dr. C M Seth, Prof Anil Raina, JU, Senior Journalists, Mr. Sanjeet Sharma, Mr. Dinesh Manhotra, Mr. Ajay Bachloo, Dr. Abdesh Gangwal, EEET, Ahmadabad also addressed the gathering and shared their insight on the subject and suggested measures to tackle it at the local level and globally.
On the occasion, the Minister also gave away certificates of merit to journalists for reporting on environment related issues.
The workshop was organized by the Press Club of Jammu in collaboration with CEE and EEET Ahmadabad. Large number of prominent media persons, research scholars, environmental experts and Members of the management of Press Club of Jammu were present on the occasion.