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| Last Updated:: 10/11/2014

Make green laws efficient, cut regulatory bodies: Jairam Ramesh

 BENGALURU: Maximize the efficacy of current environment and forest laws. But minimize regulatory bodies to curb official corruption and maladministration. This was former Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh speaking as he moderated a panel discussion on challenges to conservation in the context of a pro-growth agenda, Ramesh said: "We need to take a cue from the US which has minimized regulators and maximized the efficacy of its laws to check acid rain which was a common phenomenon a few decades ago.''


Summing up the discussion, he said: "It is imperative for the country to make economic growth not just inclusive and rapid, but also sustainable to ensure conservation."

Mahesh Rangarajan, director of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, said effective ecological conservation needs an all-inclusive approach that protects wildlife and secures livelihood of people

Praveen Bhargav, managing trustee of Wildlife First, a Bengaluru-based NGO, said: "I am not against development but I am worried at the way forest and environment clearances are being given to mining and development projects in forest areas. There is a need for better application of mind, science and knowledge while giving such sanctions to make it sustainable.''

Dr Vidya Athreya, research associate, Centre For Wildlife Studies and Wildlife Conservation Society, India said effective conservation can take place only if the community at large is involved.

To a question from Ramesh on how to make business environment friendly, the panelists suggested recycling as the only hope. Khoshoo award for Rangarajan

Prof Mahesh Rangarajan, director of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi was presented the prestigious TN Khoshoo Memorial Award 2014 for conservation by Jairam Ramesh. Rangarajan was selected for understanding nature-society interactions through his ideas and scholarship on history, politics and environment.

His research explores how the history of humanity's co-existence with forests and wildlife could revise the current conservation practice and writing. In 2010, Rangarajan was chairman of the national elephant task force.

Environmentalists say Rangarajan brought integrity and knowledge-based decision-making to clearance processes.