PTI, 05 June 2010. Outlook India.

From green vehicle rallies, cleanliness and tree planting drives to screening of eco-films, the city was today abuzz with a range of activities to mark the World Environment Day.

To stimulate awareness and public action towards environmental conservation, the environment ministry conferred three prestigious awards and released a special postage stamps at a function addressed by former President APJ Abdul Kalam. Kalam said the government should partner with private institutions, armed forces and corporations to establish mini national biodiversity zones to achieve a triangular growth mission of ecological conservation, societal empowerment and economic development.

Scientists V J Nair and Ramakrishna bagged E K Janaki Ammal National Award for plant and animal taxonomy-2008 while Isha Foundation, Tamil Nadu, founded by Sadhguru J Vasudev got Indira Gandhi Pariavaran Puraskar for the year 2008 in recognition of its “Project Green Hands.”

At a separate function, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit released “State of Environment Report of Delhi-2010,” highlighting key environmental concerns plaguing the city. “The report is expected to sensitise the citizens, the authorities and other agencies and stakeholders about the threat to the environment and provide a basis for preparing a long term strategy for improving the quality of our environment,” she said. Earlier Dikshit flagged off a battery operated car and scooter rally from her residence along with TERI head R.K. Pachauri. Also, the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games organised a bicycle, electric car and electric bike rally which was flagged off by “Shera”, the Games mascot, to stress on the importance of eco-friendly transport.

International NGO Oxfam-India along with another group, Delhi Greens, organised a summit for youngsters to encourage discussion on climate change and how the youth can contribute towards protecting the environment. The Delhi Metro too announced the launch of Cycle Feeder Service from Rohini East Metro station later this month to promote the use of the eco friendly mode of transport.

A bicycle rally was also held on the occasion. Television channels such as Discovery Channel too had a series of dedicated programmes to sensitise the viewers about environment-related problems due to climate change which threatens the existence of humankind if left unnoticed.

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