co-Stewardship, one of the latest schemes of the Forest Department to help preserve the environment with the participation of society, is in its preliminary stages of being implemented.

Launched on World Environment Day on June 5, the programme focuses on making institutions a nuclei of action by facilitating, implementing and monitoring change. The programme has been envisaged in such a manner to ensure both individual effort and collective action.

Now in its preliminary stage, it focuses on transforming ordinary citizens into Eco Stewards, who feel strongly for nature and are committed to the cause of its conservation.

“Our current consumption patterns and lifestyles have exceeded the limits set by nature. The challenge is to undertake corrective action and live in accordance with nature’s laws and in harmony with nature through wise choices and sustainable actions. An Eco Steward must take every effort to neutralise the negative impact of actions in the environment,” Bransdon Corrie, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and the Head of Forest Force, said.

The department intends to institutionalise nature conservation activities through documentation, monitoring and certification through Green Cards and Green Books.

By encouraging community activities at the neighbourhood level, the programme aims at planting a variety of trees as well at taking steps towards waste management. It also focuses on imbibing the need to ensure cleanliness and preventing its volunteers from littering public or private properties.

According to an official, the programme also takes into account the need for actions to lessen the impact on ecosystem. It plans to offset carbon emissions by planting trees for vehicles owned or flights undertaken. Other activities such as rainwater harvesting, organic cultivation, reducing consumption of electricity, water and fuel and recycling plastics are also encouraged through the Eco-Stewardship programme.

Source: September 6, 2015, The Hindu