India will soon launch two satellites, exclusively devoted to monitor environmental changes in the country. While one will be for carbon emissions, another will be to see forest cover. Both will be monitored every day with the help of satellites.
The Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh disclosed this during a public consultation on the Green India Mission (GIM) on Saturday.
This was the only public consultation in the state on the UPA government’s 10-year long ambitious mission, which was attended by several environmentalists, volunteers of NGOs, experts and elected representatives across the state.
Ramesh said during the consultation that India will launch a satellite in 2012, which will monitor every day carbon emission in the country.
This will be followed by the launch of another forest satellite to monitor forest cover in the country every day.
“Currently, forest cover in the country can be known only after two years and the reduction of this period will help the government in taking steps immediately,” Ramesh said.
The Indian Space Research Organisation will help in launching both the satellites.
Ramesh said the government has also identified 65 cities under the National Mission for Sustainable Habitat, and the coastal cities were given priority while selecting them.
He said protection to these cities from increasing sea levels was the prime objective.
Ramesh said the government has also decided that cities, which were selected under the Jawaharlal Nehru Renewal Mission, will now be released funds, because of the steps they had taken to ensure green cover to the city.
Ramesh said that India will be the worst sufferer of global warming and a draft policy on the National Mission For A Green India will be submitted to the Prime Minister within a month.
He observed the environment and development were two sides of the same coin and there has to be a fine balance between the two.
During the consultation, representatives raised several questions about the mission ground realities, government policies and effective implementation.
Questions on special economic zones, role of forest officials, protection of bio- diversity, rights of tribes, ignorance of various legal provisions on the part of government officials and lack of coordination among government agencies, illegal saw mills, non-cooperation being given to NGOs and public participation were raised.