Against the backdrop of the recent disaster in the State followed by criticism of its development approach, the Uttarakhand government has decided to generate data for Gross Environment Product (GEP) along with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to monitor the state of natural resources and measure overall growth in the country.
With this decision, Uttarakhand becomes the first State to gather data about the health of its natural resources.Announcing this here on Friday after talks with Anil Joshi, the proponent of GEP, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna directed officials to start collecting data about GEP in their areas immediately.
Officials should make it a point to collect data about the status of glaciers, forests, rivers, soil and air quality, and these should be given due importance while calculating GDP, Mr. Bahuguna said.
The Chief Minister said a nodal agency for GEP would be set up in the Forest and Environment departments. This agency will take the active support of the Forest Research Institute and other agencies working in the area of natural resources.
“It’s high time we paid attention to natural resources along with science-based socio-economic development as that alone can help us be better prepared to face natural calamities,” Mr. Bahuguna said, thanking Dr. Joshi for creating awareness about GEP.
Talking to The Hindu , Dr. Joshi who had floated the idea of GEP several years ago , said “We must bring in GEP to measure sustainable growth of India. GDP merely gives us a growth index of factories, and big projects.”
Uttarakhand becomes the first State to gather data about the health of its natural resources