Staff Reporter

To make people aware of the need to conserve natural resources

KOZHIKODE: Forest and Environment Minister A. Sujanapal inaugurated a forest aid post in the vicinity of the Kalipoika here on Friday.

The aid post has been installed with a view to creating awareness among the general public on conserving natural resources.

The precincts of Kalipoika is a rich habitat of various species of fish, birds, besides rare mangrove vegetation.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sujanapal said people's participation would be a primary component in implementing projects for conserving natural resources such as mangroves.

Though laws existed for protecting mangroves, they failed to be effective with widespread alienation of these precious areas for commercial purposes.

"It is here that an attentive public can play an effective role in conservation."

The Minister said a project, 'Harithatheeram', for protecting the coastal belt with mangrove vegetation had been prepared. Funds were being sought from the Centre for the project.

The cost of reinforcing the coastal belt with mangrove vegetation would be only ten per cent of constructing seawalls, which is the usual measure adopted now.

After the tsunami, the presence of mangrove vegetation had been found to be highly effective in protecting coastal areas.

Eco-tourism project

The recently announced eco-tourism project covering an area of more than 262 acres, for conserving mangroves and other natural resources here, would be implemented with total participation of the local people.

"All efforts will be made to protect and conserve mangroves through the Kottuli Wetland project with the help of the Forest Department and the Tourism Department."

Mayor M. Bhaskaran said people's samithis would be set up to conserve the natural resources here.

T.P.M. Saheer MLA; District Collector Rachna Shah; Chief Conservator of Forests (Social Forestry),Thiruvananthapuram, K.K. Srivastava; and CCF, Kozhikode, Sidappa, were present.

P.K. Mamu Koya and M. Krishnan, councillors, were also present.