2nd May, 2002
Ministry of Environment & Forests


INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IS A VITAL ENGINE FOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE 21ST CENTURY: SHRI T.R. BAALU


The Union Environment and Forests Minister, Shri T.R. Baalu has said that Information & Communication Technology is a vital engine for development in the 21st century. The Asia Pacific Region can address its poverty issues by effective use of e-governance and ICT applications in environmental management, because there are inherent linkages among poverty, environment and governance. The Minister said this while addressing a Two-day Regional Workshop on Information and Communication Technology for Environment for Asia Pacific (ICTEAP) here today.

He said that sustainable development is the slogan of the environment conscious global community today. Sustainable development process can be strengthened in many ways by Information Technology. Increased connectivity between computer systems and networks and the immense power of computer hardware and software make seamless information flow possible. Expert systems and other software applications, as well as environmental databases accessible over Internet, are important means for enabling access to environmental information and informed decision-making on matters of environmental concerns.

Shri Baalu further stated that successful planning of developmental programmes at the micro-level depends heavily on availability of quality and quantity of information on natural and socio-economic resources. For this, Geographical Information Systems (GIS)applications are widely available to store, retrieve and analyse different types of data for the management of natural resources.

Shri T.R. Baalu added that besides resource management, in finding solutions to a number of issues such as solid waste management, air pollution monitoring etc., we are confronted with the task of handling voluminous and complex data. In fact, environmental problems themselves are getting more acute with the rapid population growth and unsustainable consumption patterns. Thus, environment management calls for a large number of people from different streams of expertise to be engaged. Therefore, we have to bear in mind that to address such complex and inter-related issues, the role of IT in promoting reliability and efficiencies is critical.

He expressed his confidence that the prowess of the Indian ICT industry, will significantly contribute to this regional initiative in promoting South-South cooperation, as well as towards the transfer of environmentally friendly technologies and know-how. Participation of key governments and research institutions of countries such as Malaysia, Japan, China and the Philippines among others, has added a valuable dimension to this endeavour.

   
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