Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday called for collective action from all countries to tackle the massive challenge of climate change and environmental degradation.
Expressing concern over reckless exploitation of natural resources, he said, "The human species cannot take the planet as its exclusive privilege."
Dhankhar was interacting with the probationers of the 2021 batch of the Indian Forest Service here.
Underlining the critical role of Forest Service officers, he said, "You will be dealing with our tribal communities and get first hand experience of their pristine culture. You will have a godly opportunity to serve their needs and aspirations."
According to a statement issued by the Vice President's Secretariat, Dhankhar emphasised the importance of forests and said they have been an integral and cardinal part of Indian ethos, consciousness and culture.
Noting that India is among the top 10 nations in the world in terms of forest wealth, he urged the officers to serve nature to serve humankind, suggesting that they are the "ambassadors of nature."
Referring to environmental degradation, the vice president said it was worrisome that features such as common village lands and natural water tanks were diminishing due to human greed.
Praising the vision of Constitution makers for including the 'protection and safeguard of forests' as part of the Directive Principles of State Policy, Dhankhar underlined that the Constitution was even amended to include Fundamental Duties for citizens such as 'protection of the natural environment and to have compassion for living creatures'.
He called for greater initiatives for involving people and improving their participation in the protection of environment.
-With PTI Input