Nitesh R Pradhan
Nimli, Rajasthan, Feb 11
The three day Annual Media Conclave on the state of India’s environment also known as Anil Agarwal Dialogue began today at The Anil Agarwal Environment Training institute at Nimli, Rajasthan.
Organised by Centre for Science and Environment(CSE), New Delhi the program has over 90 journalists from across the country.
A book “The annual state of India’s environment report, 2019” was released by Sunita Narain, Director General, CSE.
Environment hardly features in the political discourse not just in India but also across the world.
However, Narain stated that nowadays even the worst of polluters claim to be part of environment protection.
She stated that air is an equalizer when it comes to making all sections of the society including the rich to take environment seriously as the air in many parts of the world and in India is now toxic to breathe and “there is no escaping”.
Further she added that an agrarian crisis has ensued in the world due to climate change.
She also stated that man animal conflict is also on a rise in the country which has seen no resolution.
KJ Ramesh, Director General, Meteorology Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India also made a presentation and stated that while quantity of rainfall has increased but the average of rainy days has decreased.
Further he added that stress should be laid in recharging the aquifers storing ground water which has seen a depletion.
He also stated that water bring a state subject their support is the key in any efforts.
Mr Ramesh also informed that in order to monitor transboundary rivers there has been bilateral agreements with Nepal, Bhutan and China to provide accurate data which can mitigate several flood related disasters properly.
Madan B Lokur, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India also addressed the gathering.
The three-day conclave includes in-depth briefing sessions on some of the critical issues of environment and development – from climate change, agriculture and air pollution, to sanitation, water management, environmental governance and human-wildlife conflicts. The briefings are being delivered by top experts in these fields: K J Ramesh, Director General, Indian Meteorology Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India; Bhure Lal, Chairperson of the Chairperson, Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA); Gufran Baig, Director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune; Ajay Deshpande, former expert member of the National Green Tribunal; Bharti Chaturvedi, Director, Chintan; and Yadavendra V Jhala, Head of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology Department at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
Speaking at the release of the report, Sunita Narain said: “2018 was the year of revolt – from the streets of Paris to those of Delhi, people rose up in protest. Let’s hope that in 2019, protest will lead to realisation that change must come in the way we do business, the way we live. It must ensure that growth is equitable and so sustainable.”
“The question for a country like India is where and what is our way ahead. Can we take the beaten path or should we reinvent? As yet, there is little appetite for this reinvention. But I believe that it has to be the agenda for the years to come,” she added.
Justice Lokur, in his address, spoke at length about the numerous environmental acts based on which the judiciary has passed landmark judgments – however, laxity in implementation has left these acts and judgments ineffectual.
The State of India’s Environment report is an annual compilation done by Down To Earth, the fortnightly which CSE helps publish. The 2019 report is an extensively researched document covering a wide range of subjects – water and sanitation, waste, health, air pollution, the commons, forests and wildlife, elections, climate change, urbanisation, renewable energy and agriculture. Said Richard Mahapatra, managing editor of Down To Earth: “The State of Environment report, CSE’s flagship annual publication, brings to the notice and knowledge of the discerning reader all that has happened in the year on issues of environment and development, with rich analysis and state-of-the-art data and statistics.”