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Forest wealth MP''s biggest capital, need to conserve it: Nath

Forest wealth MPs biggest capital, need to conserve it: Nath

Bhopal: Forest wealth is Madhya Pradesh's biggest capital and the challenge was to revive degraded tracts, Chief Minister Kamal Nath said at a forestry conference at the Academy of Administration here on Saturday.

Tension and conflict coming in the way of forest conservation should be resolved mutually through dialogue between department officials and forest dwellers, he added.

"The biggest capital of Madhya Pradesh is its forest wealth. MP is proud of it. Right now, the biggest challenge is to revive degraded forests. All measures should be taken to improve degraded forest areas," he said.

"The responsibility of protecting and preserving forests rests with the people living in them and department officials. Tension and conflict coming in the way of forest conservation should be resolved mutually through dialogue between the officials and dwellers," he added.

He said officials must have "good chemistry" with ground forces in the forest department.

Asking officials to live up to the Forest Act, Nath said people's expectations, unlike now, were not so high when the legislation was enacted in 1980.

He said the biodiversity of the state was very high and needs to be protected as the "the future is dependent on forests".

"The world is moving rapidly from chemical-based pharmaceutical drugs to chemical-free ones and minor forest produce are important assets of the future. The forest department has to march with a new understanding and approach," Nath said.

At the conference, MP Forests Minister Umang Singhar discussed the role of Joint Forest Management Committees in conservation while Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Dr U Prakasham threw light on prevailing condition of forests in the state.

Additional Chief Secretary (Forests) AP Shrivastava and other senior officials attended the conference.

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