President Ram Nath Kovind, on 3 August, said that India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, has emerged as a global leader in handling complex climate change issues and has set stiff targets for itself.
Addressing a group of 89 probationers of Indian Forest Service, the President said, "India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and we have set ourselves stiff targets. Our country has set a target to sequester an additional 2.5 to 3 billion tons of carbon in our forests by 2030."
President Kovind further asked the Forest Service Officers to strike a balance between conservation needs and development requirements, saying, "Your job is not to pose problems but to provide solutions."
"Forests can also help fight the adverse impact of climate change. You have to find ways and means to enrich the natural forests, and facilitate bringing non-forest areas under tree cover.Forests are a potential carbon sink. They could help us reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the threat of global warming," he added.
Congratulating the 2016 batch probationers of Indian Forest Service from Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun, the President said that they have chosen a very noble profession.
"Forests have always been special to Indian ethos and culture. Our civilisation has derived its intellectual and spiritual strength from forests. These forests, therefore, are not merely a resource but they also cover the cultural, spiritual and intellectual heritage of the country," he said at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
He continued saying, "The onus of protecting this heritage is now on the Forest Service Officers. On them lies the responsibility of ensuring environmental security, accommodating the sustainable development needs of the country.
Further during the addressal, the President said that in the past few decades, the world has woken up to threats to the very survival of humankind due to environmental degradation, depletion in forest cover and above all global warming leading to climate change.
The President added, "Our national forest policy envisages 33 per cent of the land mass should be under forest cover. The Forest Service Officers have to find ways and means to enrich the natural forests, and facilitate bringing non-forest areas under tree cover."
Urging them to discharge their duties fairly, without fear, with honesty, and in such a way that their actions benefit the nation and common citizens as a whole, the President said, "You have joined a public service and are the nation's soldiers in an important area of environmental and ecological conservation. Your job is not to pose problems but to provide solutions."