Koraput: The Central University of Odisha observed World Environment Day 2021 through virtual mode todayon 05.06.2021 with the theme ‘Ecosystem Restoration’, which assumes greater significancein the times of COVID-19 pandemic.On this occasionCUO organized a national level webinar on the theme ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ coordinated by the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources of the University. Mr. Sudipta Dash, IFS, Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF), Koraput Circle, Forest & Environment Department, Govt. of Odisha andinternationally acclaimed two eminent environmental scientists Dr. C.S. Jha, Chief General Manger & Former Director, Forest & Ecology Division, Regional Remote Sensing Centre’s, NRSC, Hyderabad and Prof. K. Kathiresan, Former Director& Dean, Centre for Advanced, Studies in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu delivered thought provoking lectures. Prof. I. Ramabrahmam, Vice-Chancellor of the University conveyed his best wishes for successful programme and said “Going Green is a Lifeline for re-calibrating our initiatives for the Restoration of Eco-Systems and securing Bio-Diversity. Non-Conventional Energy, Permaculture, Organic Farming, Pollution Control, Plastic Substitutes, Reduction of Industry induced Carbon Footprints, among others, should comprise the core of Game-Changing interventions of the State and Citizens alike”.Prof. Sharat Kumar Palita, Dean, School of Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources presided over the programme and in his opening remark urged that in the coming decade for “Ecosystem Restoration”, let us reimagine, recreate and the restore the ecosystem to make the Earth a healthy planet with a sustainable living. One minute silence was observed in honour of noted environmentalists of India Dr. Sundarlal Bahuguna and Prof. Amalesh Choudhury who passed away recently.
Shri Dash highlighted different activities of Govt. of Odisha such as forest landscape restoration, social forestry drive, plantation at river and water reservoir sides, and hill area etc. which are steps towards restoration of ecosystem. He informed different initiatives such as the Clean India Mission of Government of India, Mahanadi Mission and Ama Jungle Yojana of Government of Odisha aimed at care for nature. He showed concern about the destruction of environment in the shake of development and said “not to damage the ecosystem but to restore it”
Dr. Jha, opined that one has to take care of biodiversity to restore the ecosystem. Citing the Sustainable Development Goal of United Nations, he said ‘we have to leave our consumerist life style and adopt conservation-oriented lifestyle, by which we can control the damage of our ecosystem. Referring to the MillenniumEcosystem Goals, he highlighted the role of GIS as aAssessment System of natural resources andsaid “a large and increasing number of forest ecosystems, populations and species are threatened globally or being lost due to the loss and degradation of forest habitats”.Lauding the role of Govt. of Odishaon restoration of ecosystem, Dr. Jha appreciated initiative ofthe Government towards it and said “Odisha is the front-line leader for restoration of forest land and environment”.
Prof. Kathiresan, highlighted on his vast experience working on various environmental and ecosystem issues and sustainabledevelopmentincluding creation of mangrove in Tamil Nadu coast which could withstand 2004 tsunami where hundreds of familycould survive and sustain their livelihood. While talking on development and environment he said “environment is where we all live and development is what we all do. Environment is to be cared with love and development is to be loved with care”
Prof. K. Kmaeswar Rao, Visiting Professor summed up the procedding. Dr. Debabrata Panda and Dr. Kakoli Banerjee, Asst. Professors of Biodiversity introduced resource persons. Dr. Ram Shankar, Controller of Examination extended the vote of thanks. Visiting Professors including Prof. P. Durgaprasad, Prof. Akshay Rout, Prof. K. C. Pradhan, Prof. BhagabataPatro, PRO Dr. PhagunathBhoi were also present along with large number of students, faculty, Officers and staff on the occasion.