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Experts for involving educational bodies

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, May 8 � Educational institutions caring for or adopting nearby natural resources could be a win-win situation for them as well as forests and wildlife according to experts concerned over loss of green cover in Assam.

Recent initiatives have seen the emergence of some innovative approaches in this regard, but concerted action has been missing so far.

Among the noted environmental educators of North East India, Dr Parimal Chandra Bhattacharya, told The Assam Tribune that students from colleges are well positioned to study the soil and water quality of nearby landscapes, which is crucial to know about the status of the natural environment.

�It is not a difficult task for students, and their action to monitor the local ecological spaces would be a great service to their region,� Dr Bhattacharya remarked. He was of the view that students from colleges can easily visit neighbouring forests and water bodies and start building a database that would be of help to other researchers and conservation workers.

Even though the Forest Department would not state it on record, a number of alerts on encroachment and degradation of forests were provided by research scholars who were inside protected forests or reserved forests carrying out their own work.

�They are an independent and reliable source to reveal such things which other people might not have noticed or cared to report,� said a senior Forest Department official who did not want to be named.

Dr Bibhuti Lahkar, programme secretary of conservation group Aaranyak, mentioned that involvement of local students can be a definite advantage in conservation efforts. �Young students guided by their teachers is a formidable tool in monitoring natural landscapes� they can be ideal workers to maintain the people�s biodiversity resister,� he said.

It may be mentioned that some schools and colleges have started training some of their teachers on environmental issues. Recently under the GLOBE programme, 25 teachers of eastern India were acquainted with environmental matters, but many other teachers as well as researchers are yet to be adequately equipped to play the role of educators who can help safeguard ecological spaces.

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Experts for involving educational bodies

GUWAHATI, May 8 � Educational institutions caring for or adopting nearby natural resources could be a win-win situation for them as well as forests and wildlife according to experts concerned over loss of green cover in Assam.

Recent initiatives have seen the emergence of some innovative approaches in this regard, but concerted action has been missing so far.

Among the noted environmental educators of North East India, Dr Parimal Chandra Bhattacharya, told The Assam Tribune that students from colleges are well positioned to study the soil and water quality of nearby landscapes, which is crucial to know about the status of the natural environment.

�It is not a difficult task for students, and their action to monitor the local ecological spaces would be a great service to their region,� Dr Bhattacharya remarked. He was of the view that students from colleges can easily visit neighbouring forests and water bodies and start building a database that would be of help to other researchers and conservation workers.

Even though the Forest Department would not state it on record, a number of alerts on encroachment and degradation of forests were provided by research scholars who were inside protected forests or reserved forests carrying out their own work.

�They are an independent and reliable source to reveal such things which other people might not have noticed or cared to report,� said a senior Forest Department official who did not want to be named.

Dr Bibhuti Lahkar, programme secretary of conservation group Aaranyak, mentioned that involvement of local students can be a definite advantage in conservation efforts. �Young students guided by their teachers is a formidable tool in monitoring natural landscapes� they can be ideal workers to maintain the people�s biodiversity resister,� he said.

It may be mentioned that some schools and colleges have started training some of their teachers on environmental issues. Recently under the GLOBE programme, 25 teachers of eastern India were acquainted with environmental matters, but many other teachers as well as researchers are yet to be adequately equipped to play the role of educators who can help safeguard ecological spaces.