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Urban Forest will revive the age old tradition of village forest in cities: Shri Prakash Javadekar

New Delhi:5/6/20: On the occasion of World Environment Day, the government today announced implementation of the Nagar van scheme to develop 200 Urban Forests across the country in next five years with a renewed focus on people’s participation and collaboration between Forest Department, Municipal bodies, NGOs, Corporates and local citizens. World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on 5th June every year.  Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change celebrates WED focusing on the theme declared by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and organizes several events.  This year’s theme is ‘Biodiversity’. In view of the prevalent situation due to COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry held virtual celebrations of World Environment Day on this year’s theme with focus on Nagar Van (Urban Forests).

Releasing a brochure on the best practices on Urban Forests and announcing the Nagar Van scheme, Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar said that these forests will work as lungs of the cities and will primarily be on the forest land in the City or any other vacant land offered by local urban local bodies. Stressing on this year’s theme i.e. “Time for Nature” with special focus on biodiversity, Shri Javadekar said, “thumb rule is that if we protect nature, nature protects us” .

A film was played during the Environment Day Celebrations today which narrates how the initiatives of Punaikars along with Forest Department and local body has converted 16.8 ha of a barren hill into green forests. Today, the forest is rich in biodiversity with 23 plant species, 29 bird species, 15 butterfly species, 10 reptiles and 3 mammal species. This Urban Forest project is now helping maintain ecological balance, serving both environmental and social needs. The Warje Urban Forest is now a role model for the rest of the country.

Stressing on this year’s focus on Biodiversity the Environment Minister said,“India has 8 percent of world’s biodiversity, despite having many constraint like only 2.5 % of the world’s landmass, has to carry 16% of human as well as cattle population and having only 4% of freshwater sources; the mega biodiversity that we have is the result of Indian ethos which is to be in sync with the nature.”

The event also saw virtual participation from Executive Director, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, (UNCCD), Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw and Executive Director United Nation Environment Programme(UNEP), Ms. Inger Andersen.

The UNCCD executive director, Mr. Thaw said that “Is it not time, that we realise that we need nature more than nature needs us, if at all. Is it not time, that we have the humility to rethink and redefine our relationship with nature. Perhaps, it is time for humanity to have a new social contract for nature.”

Stressing on this year’s theme Ms. Andersen said that actions for nature mean a lower risk of future pandemics, achieving the sustainable development goal, slowing climate change, healthier lives, better economies, being able to cherish that breath of fresh air or walk in the woods protecting life itself. In a post COVID world, we need to build back better, we need to protect the planet to protect ourselves.

Minister (Forest), Government of Maharashtra, Shri Sanjay Rathod, newly appointed secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change,Shri R P Gupta, DG Forest& Special Secretary, Shri Sanjay Kumar, Anand Deshpande of Persistent System and Dr. Vinita Apte, Director, TERRE Policy center, Pune also participated in the event and shared their words of wisdom.

 

 

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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