Forest Officers need to be the voice of the voiceless and act as trustees not owners of the vast natural resourcesMinister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav today said that the forest officers as the voice of the voiceless need to work with an approach that is earnestly humane and sensitive to the aspirations and needs of the local community. The Minister was virtually addressing the 64 Indian Forest Service(IFS) Probationer Trainees of the 2020 Batch being trained at Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun.
Addressing the young officers, Shri Yadav said that the country under the current national leadership is aspiring for transformative advancement on all fronts of development while simultaneously dealing with challenges and crisis on different environmental frontiers and their manifestations viz. climate change, land degradation, pollution and biodiversity loss, and hence their role in the present era becomes even more important in taking forward and practicing sustainable development.
The Environment Minister highlighted the commitments and targets for carbon sequestration, zero-carbon emission dateline, proportion of solar power and other environmentally efficient sources in energy mix, conservation of biodiversity, combating desertification and restoration of degraded land etc. and asked the officers to come forward with creative and innovative ideas to achieve them.
He reiterated, that as empowered, capable and competent workforce of the government system, the young IFS officers have also to be pro-actively Community-centric/Citizen oriented and facilitator in approach in dealing with the community in forest landscapes in their jurisdiction, and also other citizens.
This message was apt, as these days with the advent of social media, most of the forest officers are seen posting throughout the day photos, videos and messages and in many instances videos and photos completely unrelated to their job. There is a competition to show themselves in the wilderness areas and showcase their own photography. Researchers, Filmmakers, photographers complain that often jealous forest officers have ego tassels and don't allow permissions.
The probationers were also addressed by the Minister of State Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey who said that there are many areas of interaction with the community residing in forest landscapes and other people, where an empathetic, responsive, facilitation approach has to be mainstay of the conduct and functional discharge of duties and this whole process requires utmost sincerity and citizen centric approach with a humane approach.The probationers were also given best wishes and words of wisdom by Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ms. Leela Nandan and Shri C. P Goyal, DG(Forest) & Special Secretary, MoEFCC.