In his inaugural address, Dr. K.K. Paul, Hon’ble Governor of Uttarakhand stressed the need of ‘Green Domestic Product’ for green accounting and expressed that this conference is timely and more relevant in the present situation than ever before. He highlighted the need of approaches like ‘Chipko Movement’ for conservation of forests. More research needs to be done to catalyze the process of photosynthesis for enhanced carbon sequestration, he said.
“Pressure of development often threatens biodiversity. As custodian of forests and natural heritage, we are increasingly called upon to balance the demands of development with conservation. Policies relating to the forestry sector need to be watchful of the indisputable role forests and other natural ecosystems play in protecting biodiversity and sustainable development” said Shri Anil Madhav Dave, Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India, in his recorded video message to the XIXth Commonwealth Forestry Conference.
Shri Ajay Narayan Jha, Secretary, MoEF&CC, Government of India mentioned that India has 24% forest cover with 7 billion tons of carbon stock. “The MoEF&CC is continuously thriving towards enhancing natural resources through various initiatives. NTFPs are being given priority to create livelihood opportunities for the people” he said.
In his keynote address, Dr. Peter Holmgren, Director General, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) highlighted the key developments in world’s environment from 1960- 2010 and made projections for next fifty years. He suugested the way to solve the issue to bring tree and people together. The focal points are environment, top down global overriding – local sector silols and dichotomization of short term approaches and initiatives.
Addressing on behalf of IUFRO President, Mr. Michael Kleine elaborated the efforts of IUFRO in bringing together the forest fraternity for sharing the knowledge among all concerned. He also said that sustainability is the key area where IUFRO have to paly a greater role.
Dr. S.S. Negi, former Director General Forests and Special Secretary, MOEF & CC, Government of India emphasized on ecological security and importance of forest and biodiversity. He also opined that the member countries of Commonwealth should share their experiences and knowledge and work together to tackle the emerging challenges.
Shri Anil Kumar, Additional Director General, MOEF&CC raised the issue of forest management in the north east region of India and emphasized on hydrological studies for ensuring safe water and rejuvenating the rivers. He also raised concerns on increasing forest fire and resulting biodiversity losses.