Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Thursday said that Jammu and Kashmir had become only the third union territory or State to implement the National Transit Pass System (NTPS).
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that inaugurating the Forest Resource Management Center (FRMC) at Narwal and launching the NTPS, the LG said that the new state-of-the-art facility and the technological advancements would 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 like GIS, remote sensing and digital tools like mobile application in protection and management of forests. The FRMC will also play a key role in digitalisation of forest boundaries as well as for management of forests through geo reference based information and mapping,” he said.
Sinha advised the department to maximise the use of technology in forest protection and climate change mitigation by protecting the natural resources, which would also support meeting of sustainable development goals.
“J&K is the third union territory or state to implement the National Transit Pass System in the country. It replaces manual paper-based transit systems by online transit systems, and promotes agro-forestry activities that will in turn help in increasing farmer's income,” he said.
The LG said that forest management and protection was vital to achieve climate stability and sustainable development goals.
He said that reducing deforestation, tackling the loss of forest biodiversity, and preservation of our natural heritage was critical for inclusive development.
“Nature unites us. I want every citizen to become a Green Warrior and take action on climate change. We should have a 10-point vision document which will act as an MoU of commitment with the society to protect the nature in the neighborhood,” Sinha said.
He 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 LG 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 that geo-tagging had revolutionised 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 digitisation, we can effectively tackle the challenge of encroachment,” Sinha said.
He appreciated the Forest Department for digitisation of all demarcated forests at beat, block, range, and division levels.
The LG congratulated Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Head of Forest Force (HoFF), 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 of Ecuador, which became the first country to grant “legal rights of the nature” in its constitution, he advised that sustainable development must recognise earth as a living entity.
Sinha also emphasised to expedite FRA cases, especially pertaining to Individual Forest Rights and ensure that genuine claims were processed and decided expeditiously.
Appreciating the efforts of the department on afforestation through Green J&K Drive, he advised the department that such afforestation should lead to creation of livelihood.
The LG also directed the department to substantially increase the number of Women Self Help Groups and work towards women empowerment.
He said that the department should also take new initiatives under Jan Bhagidari and create volunteers to spread awareness on climate change.
Sinha also paid tributes to the martyrs of the Forest Department.
Principal Secretary Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment, Dheeraj Gupta enumerated various programmes and schemes dedicated to promoting green cover in J&K.
PCCF and HoFF Mohit Gera said that the Forest Department was actively using remote sensing and GIS for forest protection and management activities and with the inauguration of the FRMC, the capability of the Forest Department in use of technology would be enhanced considerably.
Inspector General of Forests, GoI, R Raghu Prasad said that the rollout of National Transit Pass System would largely benefit the farmers of J&K.
Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, HoDs and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.