Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha inaugurated the Forest Resource Management Center (FRMC) at Narwal and launched the National Transit Pass System today.
The Lt Governor said, the new state-of-the-art facility and the technological advancements will go a long way in ensuring required protection and management of our forests.
The FRMC has been planned to scale up the use of modern technology such as GIS, Remote Sensing and digital tools like mobile application in protection and management of forests. The FRMC will also play a key role in digitalization of forest boundary as well as for management of forests through geo reference based information and mapping.
The Lt Governor advised the department to maximise the use of technology in forest protection and climate change mitigation by protecting the natural resources, which will also support meeting of Sustainable Development Goals.
J&K UT is the third UT/State to implement the National Transit Pass System in the country. It replaces manual paper-based transit system by online transit system, promotes agro-forestry activities that will in turn help in increasing farmer’s income, the Lt Governor noted.
Forest management and protection is vital to achieve climate stability and sustainable development goals. Reducing deforestation, tackling the loss of forest biodiversity and preservation of our natural heritage is critical for inclusive development, observed the Lt Governor.
“Nature unites us. I want every citizen to become Green Warrior and take action on climate change. We should have 10-point vision document which will act as an MoU of commitment with the society to protect the nature in the neighborhood,” said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor also shared the efforts of the forest department in safeguarding the ecological wealth and making technological interventions an important factor in forest management.
In Amrit Kaal our aim is to integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into development planning and work in a holistic manner for clean air, fresh water, biodiversity conservation and mitigation of human-wild animal conflict, the Lt Governor said.
Greater use of technology will help the field staff to make effective decisions for protection and management of forests and augment the efforts of the frontline forest field staff in securing this valuable resource, he said.
Today, Geo-tagging has revolutionized the management of different types of forest assets. GIS technology and Mapping have emerged as powerful instruments in conservation efforts. With GIS mapping and ground-based digitization, we can effectively tackle the challenge of encroachment, added the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor appreciated the Forest Department for digitization of all demarcated forests at beat, block, range and division levels. He congratulated PCCF/HoFF Dr Mohit Gera and his team for restoring the original glory of the Char Chinar in the iconic Dal Lake and further stressed upon taking up new initiatives dedicated to environment protection.
Citing the example from Ecuador which became the first country to grant “legal rights of the nature” in its Constitution, the Lt Governor advised that the sustainable development must recognize earth as a living entity. He also emphasised to expedite FRA cases especially pertaining to Individual Forest Rights and ensure that genuine claims are processed and decided expeditiously.
Appreciating the efforts of the department on afforestation through Green J&K Drive, the Lt Governor advised the department that such afforestation should lead to creation of livelihood.
He also directed the department to substantially increase the number of Women Self Help Groups and work towards women empowerment. The department should also take new initiatives under Jan Bhagidari and create volunteers to spread the awareness on climate change.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor paid tributes to the Martyrs of the Forest Department.
Sh Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary Department of Forest, Ecology & Environment enumerated various programmes and schemes dedicated to promoting green cover in J&K.
Dr. Mohit Gera, PCCF &HoFF said that Forest Department is actively using Remote Sensing and GIS for forest protection and management activities and with the inauguration of the FRMC, the capability of Forest Department in use of technology will be enhanced considerably.
Sh R. Raghu Prasad, Inspector General of Forests, GoI, said that the roll-out of National Transit Pass System will largely benefit the farmers of J&K.
Sh Ramesh Kumar, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu; HoDs and other senior officials were present on the occasion.