Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mad ANGLES

This flower is now part of 'Endangered Species' list

I gave the title “Mad ANGLES” as I intended to write about 'photography', but that’s not what I really care about. Photography for me is ‘flirting with nature’ capturing the moments and an honest attempt to bring in as much attention as I can to Environmental issues.

As a trekker my bond with nature is very close, it provides me an opportunity to visit Wild Life Sanctuaries (WLS) and National Parks (NP) across the country. Over the years I would have trekked some of the places more than 2-3 times and there has been a substantial change in the demography.

Currently, India’s geographical forest cover is a mere 19% as against the stipulated 33%, going buy the current rate of growth it’s a mammoth task to retain this 19% and working towards the 33% is not even close to consideration. Government’s initiative of declaring additional WLS on one side and constructing dams, permitting mining and regularizing encroached forest land is certainly not doing any good.

Yes, India, as a country is growing younger, which implies that our working population is increasing rapidly and demanding for more infrastructure. This is continuously adding strain on our natural resources; is it not time we asked the most important question, “Is there a road map to conserve our natural resources and wildlife?

Think about it, today “Conservation” for majority of the population only means a cause for which environmentalists are fighting for, rest of us think there is very little we can contribute. Given this, why would our voted representatives and lawmakers care about natural resources or wildlife? Animals, sadly, do not vote and people fighting for the cause are not a substantial vote bank! Such is the plight of ‘Conservation’.

Positive thinking and belief in the system is critical but “let's do it” is more important than forwarding e-mail or discussion over a cup of coffee/tea. The condition of Environment conservation in India could only change if there is an increased awareness, involvement as stakeholders and more importantly participation of the larger population. The awareness cannot be just at the local level, it has to be at a level where one could be heard loud and clear.

Next 30 years is not about Economics, Employment and Education its clearly about Environment, Energy and Ethnic issues. Many major issues that have been consistently increasing in the last 5 years are related to the later 3 E’s. We are busy with our lives, driven by India’s growth prospects without even pausing for few minutes to think where will we finally reach.

- Kavitha Reddy

Do watch this space for more on the “3E’s” of the next 3 decades.

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