15 IAS officers belonging to State cadre will attend it

A five-day course In forest and environment conservation, scheduled to begin in Coimbatore on Tuesday, is all set to take 15 officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) belonging to the State cadre back to the classroom.

The course will be conducted in the heritage building of the Tamil Nadu Forest Academy, which is nestled in the salubrious environs of the city famously known as Manchester of the South. Only recently, the Academy celebrated its anniversary.

The participant IAS officers are from different batches — 1986 to 2003. As a perceptive official puts it, the idea is to mainstream forest and environment considerations in the development process as IAS officers are essentially development managers.

This is for the first time that such a course is being organised in the State. When the proposal was mooted, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa approved it, the official says, adding that Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi, who headed the Environment and Forests Department a few years ago, played a role in devising the course.

There will be nine lectures on a range of issues such as the implications of various laws, role of joint forest management in forest restoration and poverty alleviation, ecotourism, marine biodiversity conservation and the role of public interest litigation in environmental conservation.

There will be three panel discussion sessions, one of which will deal with key issues in wildlife conservation.

Field visits

Two days have been set apart for field visits by two groups to Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and Anamalai Tiger Reserve.

At a brief event on Tuesday morning, Principal Secretary (Environment and Forests) C.V. Sankar will inaugurate the course.

Apart from the deliberations on nature, there will be an hour-long yoga session in the evening.