Odisha News Insight

Environment Minister launches ENVIS portal

Environment MinisterThe Government has reiterated the need to reach out to the people on environmental issues and creating more awareness among them. Speaking after launching the Environment Information System (ENVIS) portal at the inauguration of the national interaction-cum-evaluation workshop for ENVIS system in New Delhi on Wednesday, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, said that the government’s endeavour has been to take care of nature and ensure development.  The Minister said that the challenge before ENVIS is to find out new ways to reach out to people and how to popularise science and sustainable practices.  Shri Javadekar emphasised the need to continuously upgrade each ENVIS centre.

The Minister also distributed the award of the best State ENVIS centre to Forests, Environment & Wildlife Management Department, Sikkim and the award for the best Thematic ENVIS Centre to Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.  Shri Javadekar also released knowledge products of ENVIS Centres including – an ENVIS Bulletin on ‘Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India’ by WII ENVIS Centre, a book on ‘State at a Glance: Jammu & Kashmir’ Vol(1) 3, 2015 by GB Pant ENVIS Centre, a book on ‘Ecological Traditions of India – Gujarat – Vol. XI’ by CPREEC ENVIS Centre and a Compendium on “Environment in the Indian Parliament: 2011-2015” (CD format) by WWF ENVIS Centre.  The Minister also released mobile applications, including an ENVIS App (2.2 Version) on medicinal plants by neighbourhood App (0.4.0 version) on common medicinal plants of Bengaluru City by FRLHT ENVIS Centre, economic algal material, important fungi and their applications, important bacteria and their applications – Android App by ENVIS Centre, Kalyani University.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ashok Lavasa, said that people in India have always had a spiritual belief in nature.  The Secretary underlined the need to make ENVIS more relevant by providing an analytical database to enable and assist well-informed decision making.  Shri Lavasa added that the Ministry wants to create a vibrant network and associate all research organisations, institutions and NGOs working in the field of environment.  He also underlined the need to involve more people in environment, particularly in the field of waste management.

Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Portal – http://envis.nic.in, a new initiative, runs parallel with the Digital India Objective, which works on improving the digital literacy in the environment sector and deliver services digitally all over the country.  The digitization of valuable data covering the broad spectrum of subjects on environment will serve as an asset in generating feature rich repository of information. Bringing all ENVIS Centres under one roof will also facilitate convergence in data dissemination.

Environmental Information System (ENVIS), a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry has been implemented since 1982. The purpose of the scheme is to integrate country-wide efforts in environmental information collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination through ENVIS websites, which are dedicated to different interesting themes. The network presently consists of 69 Centres, of which 29 are hosted by the environment/forest department of State governments/UT Administrations and deal with “State of the environment and related issues”, while 40 Centres are being hosted by environment-related governmental and non-governmental organisations/institutes of professional excellence and have a thematic mandate. Major users of ENVIS include Central and State Governments, institutes and individual scientists, researchers, students and agencies carrying out environmental impact assessment of projects, as well as public.

The workshop will evaluate and assess the functioning of the 69 ENVIS Centres. It will consider their continuance based on their performance and also provide them the necessary guidance and training in performing their activities to meet the objectives of the ENVIS scheme.  This is the first time that the national workshop has been organised in the capital.

Senior Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ms. Anandi Subramanian and Shri Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, World Wildlife Fund India also addressed the gathering.  Shri Abhay Kumar, Deputy Economic Adviser in the Ministry, delivered the vote of thanks.

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