Training course for 180 forest guards started
A three-month basic training course, jointly organised by the Directorate of Extension Education and Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (F&NR) of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), began here on Friday in which nearly 180 forest guards of the State Forest Department are participating.
In his inaugural address, Chief Guest Dr R K Luna, Punjab Chief Conservator of Forest, said that in view of global warming and excessive use of pesticides and fertilisers, it is vital to enhance the area under forest in the state for the conservation of natural resources. He disclosed that the Punjab government recently launched a "Greening Punjab" drive from Fazilka, according to which about 40 crore saplings of various trees will be planted across the state in the next eight years.
The "Green Punjab" mission aims to augment the state's forest cover from 7 to 15 per cent, he added. Saying that Punjab Agricultural University is organising this training course for forest guards for the first time, Dr Luna exhorted the participants to make the best use of this opportunity as it would help in their future service as well as in shaping their personality as forest officers.
Addressing the participants, Director of Extension Education Dr M S Gill said that Punjab state is deficit in forest cover. The abrupt climate change and increasing pollution levels are posing a serious threat to the environment, he observed, emphasising that forestry can play a key role in revitalising the eco-system.
There is a need to enhance the forest area at the state, national and international level, he stressed. As PAU is a temple of learning in terms of agriculture and its allied fields, the training programme will refresh the knowledge of the forest guards and equip them to handle their task efficiently and scientifically, added Gill.
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