ITANAGAR, Aug 6 � Expressing his grave concern over �rampant� destruction of forests and its resources, Arunachal Chief Minister Nabam Tuki has advocated for incorporating lessons on forest conservation, importance of wildlife and the impact of global warming in the school curriculum.
For this, he asked the Environment and Forest department to coordinate with the Department of School Education to materialise the plan at the earliest.
�This will help educate our children in their elementary stage and will also generate awareness amongst their parents over the importance of forest and wildlife,� stated Tuki while speaking at the Senior Forest Officers Conference here at Banquet Hall today.
While announcing that the State has received the highest ever grant under the 13th Finance Commission in the form of �green bonus�, the Chief Minister emphasised over the need to protect the forest so that State can continue to get higher and higher amount of �green bonus� from the Centre in future also.
Tuki said that the State�s forest cover could be increased from existing 82 per cent to 90 per cent through rubber and tea plantations wherever applicable. Calling upon the departmental officials to gainfully utilise the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) fund meant for afforestation programme, the Chief Minister was of the view that community participation should be made mandatory.
�We must start afforestation programmes with economically viable plants so that economic generation could be ensured besides increasing the forest cover,� he said. He asked the department to start the process on phase wise manner by selecting few divisions on an experimental basis.
Reiterating his government�s development agenda, the Chief Minister stressed the need to expedite the process of environment clearance. �While development is pre-requisite for Arunachal which need to be provided to the people, we must also ensure that the rich flora and fauna of the state is equally preserved�, Tuki added.
He also emphasised on tapping the rich forest resources like medicinal plants, rubber, tea, bamboo, cane and forest products for sustainable income generation.
Speaking on the occasion, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Forests C T Mein highlighted on rapid degradation of forest due to various reasons like encroachment, illegal activities, etc.