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Dehradun, February 18
Dr VK Bahuguna, Director General, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), addressed judges of the district court and high court from 17 states at the Orissa Judicial Academy recently.

On the recommendation of the 12th Finance Commission, a national seminar was organised by Justice Indrajit Mahanty, Chairperson, Orissa Judicial Academy, under the guidance of Justice AK Patnaik and Justice V Gopala Gowda, both judges of the Supreme Court of India, on ‘Forest, environment and mining’. The theme was ‘Development not at the cost of environment’.
Dr Bahuguna addressed the judges on ‘Implementation of the Forest Conservation Act to ensure sustainable and environmentally compatible mining’. Dr Bahuguna gave a detailed history of forest conservation in India and narrated his experience on the role of Forest Conservation Act 1980 in the mining.
Specific instances were cited from the work done by a task force under his leadership on environmental impact assessment of the mining operations in Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts of Karnataka. Dr Bahuguna asked for bringing superior technology, including underground mining technology, in the country.
He further requested the judiciary to consider ways and means for improving environmental compliance and sustainability in ensuring explanation of mining minerals, specifically sand, stone, limestone and marble. He praised the efforts of the Supreme Court in laying down the norms of sustainable forest and environmental governance.
He emphasised creation of proper livelihood models for the land vested under the Forest Right Act 2006 as a counter to the naxal activities and development of these areas through convergence. For the food and water security, proper investment with the people-centric policies need to be adopted in 32 million hectare of forest land situated in and around 75 million hectare of rain-fed agriculture. He highlighted the role of the ICFRE in ensuring livelihood options and conservation of forest and other resources.
Justice V Gopala Gowda, Judge, Supreme Court of India, appreciated the contents of the address and advised 200 judiciary members from across the country to adopt this innovative expert advice while discharging their duties.


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