Raising Uttarakhand’s hopes for a “long overdue” green bonus, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu today said the states contributing to forest conservation must be given incentives.
“Giving incentives to the states which are making their precious contribution to forest conservation will encourage them to expand the green cover further,” said Naidu, addressing the Indian Forest Service probationers during the convocation ceremony at Indira Gandhi National Forestry Academy here.
He mooted the idea of extending the incentives even to the local people, besides civic bodies and panchayats for tree plantation and forest conservation.
“We have to save the forests for the future generations. If we protect our trees, they will protect us,” he said.
“Panchayats have a big role to play in conservation of the forest cover and enhancing it. There can be no two opinions on giving them incentives for this,” Naidu said.
A green bonus in return for its forest conservation endeavours has been a long- pending demand of successive state governments in Uttarakhand.
Congratulating the IFS probationers, the Vice President said they had joined the forest services at a crucial time when India was one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the development versus conservation debate was at its highest pitch.
“You have to find the method to strike a balance between ecological security and development. Man-animal-wildlife balance has to be maintained through scientific management of our forest resources,” the Vice President said.
Asking the probationers to involve the local populace, especially tribals who depend on forests for their livelihood, in conservation efforts, he said, adding no national programme can be successful without involvement of people.
“Involving people is the most effective way of governance. National programmes can succeed in achieving their objectives only when they become people’s movement,” he said.
Giving his own interpretation to the word forest, he said it meant “far from rest” because managing the forest resources was a challenging task.
Remembering forest officers who had made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, the Vice President asked the IFS probationers to pay special attention to the tribal population living in forests.
Give them assistance, train them to conserve the resources and be a facilitator in their all round development,” Naidu said.
(With inputs from agencies)