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The green network

EMF awards individuals who work for the environment.  

ORIGIN: The Environment Monitoring Forum was conceived as a public forum where anyone with a genuine interest in ecology can pool in his/her efforts and ideas with the aim of spreading the message of environment protection. With Kochi as its base camp, the EMF came into being with renowned journalist and social thinker, late P.V. Thampy, as its chief mentor. It was during the 90s that the EMF initiated a host of environment-related activities in the city.

For the first time in Kochi, it organised a public hearing on environment and development, which raised a number of issues that posed a threat to the city’s green cover in the face of expansion. “The so called development is already having a telling effect on our environment and it’s really alarming to find that only a few are seemingly concerned about it and this is what makes the whole affair a challenging task”, observes Ranjit Thampy, a founder member of the EMF.

ACTIVITIES: The Environment Monitoring Forum has always articulated that development should be streamlined with a steady focus on sustainability. And it expresses its views on such issues. By organising seminars, discussions and symposia, and publishing books such as Environment Hazards in Kerala—Problems and Remedies,the EMF kept discussions on the need for conversation alive. Published in the 90s, the book remains relevant even today owing to its predictive content. Interestingly, it was dedicated to the Periyar in an attempt to turn the spotlight on the river’s rampant pollution.

As part of honouring ordinary people delivering extraordinary work in the sphere of nature conservation in Kerala, the EMF instituted the P.V.Thampy Memorial Endowment Award in 1998. “We have been giving away this award for the past 16 years and each time we have identified and honoured people at the grass-roots level for their outstanding contribution to environmental protection”, says C. J. John, consultant psychiatrist and secretary of the EMF. This award, perhaps, is one of the most acclaimed one in its category in Kerala, he quips.

It was a litigation filed in public interest by the EMF that prompted the High Court of Kerala to issue an ordinance against inadequate methods adopted in handling bio-medical waste in the State. That decree made installation of incinerators mandatory in all hospitals in Kerala. Of late, members of the EMF have been campaigning in the social media for committed steps by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited to rebuild the green cover lost by the felling of trees along the arterial M.G. Road to pave way for the metro rail project.

IMPACT: Through several of its initiatives, the Environment Monitoring Forum could bring about better awareness on ecology related issues at the regional level. Their attempt at honouring people who have meticulously contributed to environment protection has received much appreciation.

GETTING IN TOUCH: To know more about the Environment Monitoring Forum and its environment related activities, call 98470 51802 Email: >environmentmforum@gmail.com

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 7:32:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/the-green-network/article5451858.ece

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