Do not indulge in mere ‘green wash,’ expert tells industries

Updated - September 25, 2017 02:18 pm IST

Published - September 25, 2017 01:20 pm IST - MANGALURU

N. Vasudevan, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Mangrove Cell), Maharashtra, speaking at the workshop in Mangaluru. Photo: H.S. Manjunath

N. Vasudevan, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Mangrove Cell), Maharashtra, speaking at the workshop in Mangaluru. Photo: H.S. Manjunath

N. Vasudevan, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Mangrove Cell), Maharashtra, on Monday said industries should not indulge in some “green wash” just to fulfil norms; instead their concern for the planet should come from within.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a national workshop on ‘Harmonising Coastal Industrialisation with Marine Ecosystem Health’ organised by ICAR’s Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Mangaluru, here. All water bodies - sea, rivers, tanks - have become dumping grounds of waste and the serious question is sustainability, Mr. Vasudevan said.

He defined “green wash” as some symbolical practices, including installation of a few solar panels or raising gardens on the premises, which may not last long. While industrialisation is bound to grow, how many industries were honestly prepared to minimise ecological footprint, he asked. While industries are supposed to function on three bottom-line principles — profit, people and planet, majority of them appear to have ignored the last two principles, he regretted.

Mr. Vasudevan said industries have to adopt green technologies even if they are costlier in the interest of saving the planet. He said industries should focus on Corporate Environment Social Responsibility as against the conventional Corporate Social Responsibility where they contribute to creation of some physical infrastructure to society.

Inaugurating the workshop, Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K.G. Jagadeesha said the three sectors, primary, secondary and tertiary, have to grow in harmony. There is immense potential for all the three sectors in Dakshina Kannada, even as the tertiary sector is yet to make significant stride, he said. At the same time, the fisheries sector has huge potential in the district even in non-marine environment as vast extents of paddy fields have been lying barren.

Mr. Jagadeesha said the marine eco-system is highly delicate compared to other eco-systems. Any intervention could have immediate impact on it and reversal takes a very long time. Hence, sustainable development should be everyone’s concern, he added.

On the occasion, CMFRI released a souvenir to mark its 70 years of founding and Policy Series No. 5, Management Plans for the Marine Fisheries of Karnataka.

ICAR’s Assistant Director General (Marine Fisheries) P. Pravin, CMFRI’s Principal Scientist and scientist in-charge, Mangaluru, Prathibha Rohit and others were present.

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