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March 12, 2004……

Information on environmental issues comes hard: Indian Express.

Information on environment issues comes hard

Express News Service

Chandigarh, March 12

    "THE right kind of information on environmental issues is not available and the agencies that can help in disseminating the information are not given adequate autonomy or immunity in case they need or part with such information.”

This was started by professor Dilip K. Biswas, former chairman, Central Pollution Control Board at the ‘Access Initiative’, an international programme seeking access to information participation and justice in environmental matters.

Biswas who delivered the keynote address also pointed out that a lot of efforts have been undertaken by the Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests and other departments in providing information to the public and in trying to engage them in participation.

He added that a lot of data is available on the net in this regard and that over 40 legislations have been passed till date to strengthen the legal framework.Biswas also stressed the important role that media can play in spreading awareness about such issues.

Earlier, a basic overview of the access initiative, a study conducted by the IDMA Foundation for Sustainable Development and supported by the Japan Foundation, was given. It aims at highlighting the progress in implementing the ‘Principal-10 of Rio Declaration (Earth Summit, 1992)’.

The findings of the study have been authored by Dr. R.S. Saini, executive director, IDMA foundation, city lawyer Rajvinder Singh Bains and Hindustan principal correspondent Sanjiv Shukla.

Justice S.S. Kang, former chief justice, J&K High Court and former governor, Kerala, also spoke on the occasion and said that there was an urgent need for the general public to be aware of the various Environmental Protection Acts and the fact that these acts were being grossly violated.

He also added that even a city like Chandigarh lacked serious researchers who can scientifically analyze the various relevant environmental issues. Various NGOs from all over India, Sri Lanka and Nepal also took part in the seminar.

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