New Delhi: Forest officers should be the voiceless and carry out their duties as trustees and owners of the country’s natural resources, Union minister for Environment and Forest Bhupender Yoav said Monday.
The minister addressed the Indian Forest Service (IFS) trainee probation officers. He said that forest officers should accept local communities living in forests and work with them to preserve and conserve it. He also advised against using a “feudal” approach.
“The IFS officers are the voiceless. Who are these voiceless? They are our wildlife and forests. You have to be their voice. Yadav stated that you must work for their conservation and protection.
“While all of this is happening, you must bring the local communities along. They are your partners in conservation efforts,” he stated.
Yadav explained that forest officers, as a competent, empowered and competent workforce within the government system, must be proactive in their approach and be citizen-oriented and facilitators with the community while dealing in forest landscapes within their jurisdiction.
He stressed that forest officers must be “earnestly humane” in their approach and sensitive to the “aspirations and needs” of their communities.
The minister was speaking to 64 IFS probationer trainees from the 2020 batch, who are currently undergoing training at the Indira Gandhi Natal Forest Academy, Dehradun.
Yadav noted that most of these probationers have an engineering background and said, “I congratulate, it is a matter for me as well.” You will have to transcend your engineering mentality.”
“You are not just an engineer. You are also wildlife protectors, law enforcers and administrators as IFS officers. All of these traits will be part of your personality. He said that to be successful in your job, you must have these new skills and knowledge beyond your education.
“You have completed your training and are now an officer. He added, “It’s great, but not enough.”
The minister stated that, under Prime Minister NarendraModi, the country strives for transformative progress on all fronts. At the same time, it is dealing with crises and challenges on various environmental frontiers such as climate change and land degradation.
He said that the role of forest officers is crucial in the current era for sustainable development.
Yadav reiterated India’s targets and commitments for carbon sequestration, zero emission dateline, proportion solar power and other environmentally-efficient sources in energy mix, conservation and biodiversity, and asked the officers for creative and innovative ways to achieve them.
Ashwini Choubey, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, addressed officers. She said that there are many areas where interaction is possible with communities living in forests and other people. It is important for IFS officers to use an empathetic, responsive, and facilitative approach to conduct and discharge their duties.
He said that the whole process requires “utmost sincerity, a citizen-centric and humane approach to the entire process.”