‘In addition to a dedicated satellite to check greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions, we will have a dedicated forestry satellite in 2013 for real-time monitoring of both deforestation and afforestation across the country,’ Ramesh said while delivering the ‘Satish Dhawan memorial lecture’ at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research
Forging a close relationship with the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the ministry is co-financing the setting up of the National Institute of Climate and Environment Studies in Bangalore.
‘We are also working with ISRO’s space application centre in Ahemdabad in modelling and monitoring the health of the Himalayan glaciers as the space agency is an integral part of our climate science and climate change negotiations team,’ Ramesh said in his lecture ‘The Two Cultures Revisited: Some Reflections on The Environment Development Debate in India’.
Noting that there was no system of green accounting in the country to convert Gross Domestic Product (GDP) into Green Domestic Product and reflect the use of precious depleting natural resources, Ramesh stressed upon the need to develop a robust system to report both the domestic products.
‘My ministry is making efforts to have a system of Green National Accounting by 2015 because if we can report both the GDPs, we will have a better picture of the trade-offs involved in the process of economic growth,’ Ramesh pointed out.
Pleading to consider environmental issues as public health issues, the minister said the debate between environment and development would subside if environment control was seen as a public health enhancing intervention.
‘We are in the process of setting up a National Environmental Protection Authority as a permanent body to appraise projects and monitor compliance as part of environmental governance,’ Ramesh added.