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Do not leave lands uncultivated: Ritu Khanduri

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By Our  Staff Reporter 

Dehradun, 6 Jun: Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation celebrated ‘World Environment Day’ on 5 June in collaboration with the ‘Shri Sunder Lal Bahuguna Smriti Manch.

On this occasion, Speaker Ritu Khanduri was the Chief Guest and urged farmers not to leave their lands them uncultivated. She emphasised that resource conservation should be inculcated in children’s cultural values and they should be made aware about the importance of the environment. She talked about attitudinal change towards the environment in the society as it can be saved only through community participation. She also recalled the late Sunderlal Bahuguna and the late Gaura Devi for their dedicated contribution to saving the environment. She mentioned the importance of Science and Technological Development along with environmental awareness in society. She appreciated IISWC’s activities and its engagement in soil and water conservation and watershed management work for ensuring ecosystem services in conjunction with sustainable agricultural development.

Prof Sunil Joshi, Vice Chancellor, Ayurved University, explained sewage water generation and its implication for fresh water resources. He said that efficient wastewater treatment technologies are required and less water-intensive technologies need to be promoted in order to save water for future generations. Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok raised his concern at the current generation’s greediness which is harming the environment. He emphasised on importance of nurturing the children for living in harmony with nature. He also emphasised the importance of wildlife for a balanced ecosystem and soil conservation as a basis for proper ecosystem functioning.

Dr VK Bahuguna, ex-DG, ICFRE, emphasised the cultivation of shrubs in degraded land and their inclusion in soil and water conservation measures. He said that, if Himalayas are not protected, then the environment of the plains will be disturbed. Pradeep Bahuguna, son of SL Bahuguna, threw light on his father’s life and his work. He said that Bahuguna believed in a cohesive and coordinated conservation policy for the entire Himalayan belt.

The programme was attended by many guest speakers through online-mode as well. Prof George James (Retired Professor, Texas University) talked about the role of anthropogenic activities in degrading natural resources. Rajendra Aswal, Senior Lawyer, mentioned the role of forests in regulating ecosystem, inhabiting huge biodiversity and ameliorating the effects of climate change. Dr Ramesh Sharma emphasised soil and water conservation and urged for policy level change.

In the concluding remarks, Dr M Madhu, Director, IISWC, responded to questions and took reactions of various speakers in order to focus on right approach and practical solutions through collaborative efforts for taking local actions to mitigate climate change. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr DV Singh, Organising Secretary and I/c Head, HRD & SS, IISWC. The event was coordinated by Dr Rama Pal, Scientist, IISWC, and Haritima Bahuguna, Sustainability Fellow, Australian Energy Foundation. The programme was attended by IISWC, Dehradun staff including SK Gajmoti, (Chief Administrative Officer), Dr PR Ojasvi (Pr. Scientist), Dr Bankey Bihari (Pr. Scientist), Dr D Mandal (National Fellow), Dr Lekh Chand (Sr. Scientist), Dr Raman Jeet Singh (Scientist), Dr Devideen Yadav (Scientist), KR Joshi (ACTO), Surendra Kumar (T-3), Sonu Sharma (Technician), Rajesh Kumar Sharma (SSS), Kamal Kishore (SSS), Narender Singh (SSS), Dinesh Chand (SSS) and many others joined via online mode.