Highlighting the need for conserving environment and ecology, Advisor to the Governor Khurshid Ahmed Ganai on Saturday called for concerted efforts for taking corrective as well as preventive measures to arrest the environmental degradation and said that every section of the society should contribute its bit in the same. The Advisor was speaking at the Indian Ecological Society’s (IES) three days’ International Conference on “Natural Resource Management: Ecological Perspectives” hosted by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), Jammu in collaboration with Centres for International Projects Trust (CIPT), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), NABARD and SERF India concluded today at SKUAST-J. The Advisor while calling for undertaking a massive programme for creating awareness about the measures to be undertaken for environmental conservation asked the India Ecological Society to submit the recommendations which have evolved during the course of the seminar so that the State Government and other stakeholder can take follow up actions on these. He said that the onus also lies on the scientific community, experts and students to suggest the measures for the same. “Students can also become the part of the solutions not only through the government but also through Non-governmental and international agencies so that they can broaden their scope of activity by getting suggestions from National and International experts besides the requisite funding for ecological and environmental protection” he added. Ganai while highlighting the need for conservation of forest, water, soil and land resources said that the need of the hour is to put immediate stop to deforestation and called for massive afforestation programme by the Government with active participation of the local communities. He also called for undertaking corrective measures for ensuring the preservation and protection of water resources in the State particularly the rivers and lakes. “The deplorable condition of various water bodies of the State like Jhelum, Tawi, Chenab, Dal, Wullar, Sunisar, Mansar, is due to the siltation and encroachments and timely corrective measures should be taken for the same as they along with various other high altitude lakes form the main source of water for the State. These factors were the primary cause of the devastation done by floods in Kashmir during September-2014” he added. The Advisor also suggested for taking measures to reduce pressure on agriculture land for construction of residential houses, shops etc maintaining that it is necessary to identify the hard crust karewas in the State for establishment of planned housing colonies preferably in the PPP mode. He said that the agriculture universities should also suggest ways and means so that more land becomes available for undertaking activities of cash crops, floriculture, saffron and vegetable production. While complementing the organizers for organizing these type of activities Mr Ganai expressed hope that the conference would generate the ideas which the participants can carry to their respective fields of activity for implementation. A video message from Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate change was played as he could not make it to the conference. In his video message, he emphasized that for agriculture and rural development to be sustainable it must be ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and based on a scientific approach. In addition, we need to build the capacities of the resource-poor households to obtain quality inputs and enable access to markets, so that they can produce more food more reliably. He opined that many global treaties have raised the concern to conserve natural resources for improving livelihood opportunities and enhancing the quality of the millions of small and marginal farmers living in abject poverty. It has been well recognized that the targets of the Millennium Development Goals can only be realized through improved technological options, institutional arrangements and appropriate policies in partnership with all stakeholders. Jehangir H Mir, Deputy Chairman, Legislative Council J&K emphasized on the need of an integrated approach for recognizing and implementing the intertwined social, cultural, economic and political aspects of resource management. Dr. Pradeep K. Sharma Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-JAMMU in his address hoped that the recommendations of the Conference will provide a road map to support the holistic development agenda, demand-driven research programme and their applications in the entire value chain with farmers and market occupying the central place. Dr A.K.Dhawan, President Indian Ecological Society presented the recommendations of the technical sessions that emphasized on developing location specific, cost effective, eco-friendly conservation and management technologies for higher agricultural productivity and profitability without deteriorating natural resource base. Dr K S Risam, Director Extension SKUAST , Jammu and the convener of the conference presented the welcome address while the vote of thanks was delivered by Dr Rajinder Peshin, organizing secretary of the International Conference on “Natural Resource Management: Ecological Perspectives”. On this occasion awards/Prizes for oral as well as poster presentation were distributed among the scientists by the chief guest. Earlier in the preliminary session, one of the leading entomologists of the world, Dr. K. R. Kranthi forewarned the policy makers scientific community and other stake holders that transgenic crops will develop resistance to the American bollworm in the next two to three years as has been the case with pink bollworm in Gujarat and other areas.
2015 Kashmir Despatch