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President Droupadi Murmu Highlights Forest Conservation at Indian Forest Service Convocation

Dehradun: President Droupadi Murmu addressed the officer trainees of the Indian Forest Service (2022 batch) at their convocation ceremony at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy today, emphasizing the critical importance of forests and traditional knowledge in environmental conservation.

Stressing that forests are life givers and have preserved life on Earth, she underscored the need to recognize the Anthropocene Age, a period marked by human-centric development leading to disastrous consequences. Unsustainable resource exploitation has necessitated a re-evaluation of development standards, with a shift towards ecocentric priorities alongside anthropocentric ones.

Highlighting the rapid loss of forest resources globally, President Murmu equated forest destruction to humanity’s destruction. She emphasized the urgent task of conserving Earth’s biodiversity and natural beauty to save human life from crisis. The President advocated for leveraging science and technology, such as the Miyawaki Method and Artificial Intelligence, to accelerate conservation efforts.

Lamenting the neglect of traditional knowledge, particularly from tribal societies, in modern development processes, she praised tribal societies for conserving nature and emphasized the need to unlearn misconceptions and relearn from their balanced lifestyle. Stressing the importance of climate justice, she urged embracing tribal society’s collective wisdom for ecologically sustainable and socially justifiable development.

Reflecting on the history of forest conservation in India, President Murmu highlighted the exploitation of forest resources during the British colonial period. She expressed confidence that officers of the Indian Forest Service (IFS) have moved past the colonial outlook of their predecessors and urged them to protect forest wealth while advancing the interests of forest-dependent communities.

President Murmu honored IFS officers who sacrificed their lives for environmental conservation and urged trainees to emulate their dedication. She encouraged officers to spend time among tribal communities, learn from their practices, and become role models in conservation efforts.

She reiterated the importance of synchronizing modernity and tradition in forest management, emphasizing the inclusive and environmentally congenial contributions expected from IFS officers.

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