Need to balance development and bio-diversity: Jairam Ramesh

By Indo Asian News Service | Friday, November 08, 2013 | 8:06:06 PM IST (+05:30 GMT) Comment 0 Comment

New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Friday called for a conservation mechanism that balances both human aspiration and bio-diversity, emphasising that unchecked consumer expansion would be a recipe for ecological disaster.

New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Friday called for a conservation mechanism that balances both human aspiration and bio-diversity, emphasising that unchecked consumer expansion would be a recipe for ecological disaster.

The challenge was to find ways to fulfill development aspirations while protecting natural resources at the same time, Ramesh said at the 5th Khoryug Conference on Environmental Protection for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries and Nunneries in New Delhi.

"We should have conservation that marries human aspirations with the imperative of respecting bio-diversity. The challenge is how to fulfil those aspirations while protecting water resources and forests and ensuring that the fragile balance of nature does not get disturbed," he said.

The minister said that he was against "unbridled consumer expansion" because that would be a "recipe for ecological disaster as resources are indeed finite".

Khoryug is a pan-Himalayan organisation founded by the 17th Karmapa with the aim of applying the values of compassion and interdependence in the area of community-based environmental protection.

Ramesh, a former environment minister, said: "It is beyond doubt that most of the glaciers are actually retreating. This has great impact on water security in the entire Himalayan basin. This is an issue of paramount significance for us in India."

He commended the regional approach taken by Khoryug.

"You are poised to play a very important role in disseminating the knowledge of the environmental threats," Ramesh said.

He said Buddhist teachings themselves are an important source of inspiration for environmental activism in India.

"Much of the veneration that Indians have for nature comes from our long and glorious Buddhist heritage. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that both Buddhism and even Jainism has contributed to our consciousness on preservation of nature, respect for bio-diversity, respect for conservation and respect for life in all its forms," he added.

The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, said: "I think that everyone who participates should be left with a very clear understanding not only of the tremendous importance of the environment but also of the environmental emergency in which we find ourselves."

"At the end, we will have a better idea of the best practices we can all follow to contribute to the conservation of our water resources -- as individuals in our day-to-day life, as monasteries and as a human community," he said.

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