Call for strict actions for environment protection – Earth Conference at Mangalore3 min read
KOLLUR: Parisara Sammelana, a conference on the environment, was organised by the Karnataka division of National Environment Care Federation (NECF) at the Tannirbavi Tree Park, Mangalore, on March 1. Over 36 major environmental encroachment cases were heavily reviewed and assessed in this day-long second edition of the conference, including those on vehicular pollution, dumping of construction wastes to rivers, and unaccounted deforestation.
One of the prominent features of the conference was a panel deliberation that was set-up in courtroom-like fashion. It was led by a four-person chair consisting of two Padma Shri awardees, namely—Sukhri Bommagowda and Tulsi Gowda, Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag, consumer rights activist, and Diyego Bastyav Siddi, the leader of the Siddi community. A team of 10 advocates with expertise on matters like forests and wildlife provided legal consultancy to individuals who presented their cases.
Once an issue was presented on the dais, an extensive discourse would take place to find possible legal resolutions. The four-bench panel had the final say for each of these cases, given their adroitness in the field. Certain cases were picked to be forwarded to the High Court of Karnataka for legal action to take course.
Among the lawyers, Suma R Nayak argued for the individual representation of these cases in court. “To ensure maximum impact and change, it is important that we present these cases on an individual basis. Collective representation will not prove beneficial to either party.” Her arguments come in a spar with the idea that en masse case filings would prevent protraction on verdicts for individual cases. As of February 2020, the Karnataka High Court alone had over 18 lakh cases pending.
Speaking to The Manipal Journal, Padma Shri Tulsi Gowda, a renowned expert on indigenous herbs and flora said, “It is important that we have such gatherings often. Through these, we not only understand the extent of each others’ problems, but we can also look for solutions that promote collective wellbeing.”
Padma Shri Sukhri Bommagowda explained the need for involvement of youth in such events. She expressed, “More than just attending, the youth of our country and around the world should put in more effort to bring changes to the environment. Instead of frolicking around after college, school and work, they should devote their time to do service to our maatra bhoomi (motherland).”
“It’s not enough to just plant the tree, we have to take care of it and help it grow; that is the hard part, which takes effort and commitment,” she further added.
NECF is an organisation made up of environmental activists, conservationists and enthusiasts from all over Karnataka. Volunteers from colleges and schools in Mangalore were recruited to help out during the symposium.
“We try to find ways to improve the legal system and we feel like no one understands the importance of conserving the environment like the younger generation,” commented Rohan M Shiri, a member of NECF.
Parisara Sammelana also included stalls for food, art and other locally produced goods from Karnataka, all put in place to promote local artists and to raise awareness with the attendees on the importance of conserving local flora and fauna.
Featured Image Courtesy: Abhishek Manoharan
Edited by: Vaibhavi Vaman