Tamil Nadu has always been in the forefront of environment conservation, said C.V. Sankar, Principal Secretary, Environment and Forests, in Coimbatore on Tuesday.
The Tamil Nadu Forest Act of 1882 is one the oldest in the country. The State had also played a role in the Supreme Court coming out with landmark judgements related to environment.
The first of those had to do with the definition for ‘forest’ and interpretation of the term. This had an impact on the Forest Conservation Act.
The second was involving the case filed by the Vellore citizens’ forum against tanneries, in which the Supreme Court brought out the ‘polluter pays’ principle, he said while inaugurating a training programme the Tamil Nadu Government had organised for Indian Administrative Service officers at the Tamil Nadu Forest Academy here.
Mr. Sankar said that the five-day course would help the officers, who hold key, decision-making positions in various arms of the government, consider the impact on environment and ecosystem their decisions would have.
The programme would help them have clarity on environment-related issues and take environmentally conscious decisions.
Recalling his stint as the Collector, Coimbatore, he said that he had stopped the use of tanks for building facilities by various Government departments and pointed out how the use of tanks – Ammankulam and Ukkadam – by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board had run into controversy following sinking of tenements at both the locations.
S. Balaji, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, said that the Tamil Nadu Forest Academy was proud to host the programme, more so in the centenary year.
He is the Director of the Academy.
During the programme, reputed conservation experts would address the officers and that would help them better understand environment issues.
Ten officers are attending the programme, which also includes field visits.