Amity School of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (ASNRSD) started one-week “NGO Attachment Programme” for Indian Forest Service (IFS)Probationers of Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA) at Amity University Campus, Sector-125, Noida.
Inaugurating the ceremony, Dr. Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Director, Centre for Environment Education averred that world is facing a major challenge in form of climate change and rapid biodiversity loss and there is an urgent need to spread awareness about it. He stated that on one hand, the society needs to develop rapidly while on other there are a lot of restrictions in the process of development and that’s where NGOs play an pivotal role in bridging the gap. He pointed a balance is required between the two action for sustainable growth. Dr. Sarabhai apprised the participants about Sustainable Development Goals laid by UN and said that the role of forest department is prominent in protecting, restoring and promotingsustainable use of natural resources.
Enlightening the participants on importance of NGOs in Environment Sector, Dr. VinodKumar, Director, IGNFA said that in initial years, there wasn’t any participation of voluntary services or NGO in environment sector but over the period of time, realizing the growing necessity, many NGOs have started to work in the field of environmental conservation and ecology. He mentioned that Government also comprehends the utilization and felicitation of NGOs as catalyst in bringing about local, National and International awareness with community participation for development. He opined that the role of NGOs is vast now as they are extensively involved in the spectrum of developmental activities from creating environmental awareness to undertaking watershed development; from disaster management to sustainable livelihoods; from joint forest management to giving inputs to policies. Dr. Kumar stressed that NGOs have immense contribution in framing the environmental policies,mobilizing public support for environmental conservation and protecting the endangered species of forests. He advised the participants to work together with NGOs for spreading awareness about environmental issues till grassroots level.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. W Selvamurthy,President, Amity Science Technology and Innovation Foundation said that people have become more aware about NGO services than previous years. He stressed that NGOs don’t replace the government activities but spread awareness about policies by bridging the gap between the government and people. He apprised that 20% of land in India is forest which needs to be protected. It is a major responsibility of Forest Officials to conserve the rich biodiversity that holds great value in terms of wealth, health, species etc. Dr. Selvamurthy averred that Forest Officers along with NGOs can nurture, conserve and protect environment.
More than 60 Forest Service Probationers from India and abroad have participated in the training programme.