5 June 2020.
On the occasion of World Environment Day, the gohvernment today announced implementation of the Nagar van scheme to develop 200 Urban Forests across the country in next five years. This was announced during virtual celebrations held to celebrate World Environment Day.
.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 ‘Celebrate Biodivdersity”. Keeping in line with the theme, this year, focus is on urban forests. – Nagar Van.
- Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar released a brochure and announced the Nagar Van Scheme.
- These Vans will primarily be on the forest land in the City or any other vacant land offered by 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” and that forests will work as “lungs” for the urban areas.
- A film was played during the Environment Day Celebrations 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.
India and Biodiversity:
- 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 fresh water sources; the mega biodiversity that we have is the result of Indian ethos which is to be in sync with the nature.
- India is endowed with rich biodiversity having several species of animals and plants and hosts 4 of the 35 global bio-diversity hotspots containing several endemic species. However, increasing population, deforestation, urbanisation and industrialisation have put our natural resources under tremendous pressure causing loss of biodiversity.
Significance of Biodiversity and Urban Forests:
- Biodiversity is vital for survival of all life form on this planet and is a key to providing various ecological services.
- Biodiversity conservation has traditionally been considered confined to remote forest areas but with increasing urbanisation a need has arisen to safeguard and save biodiversity in urban areas also.
- Urban forest is the best way to bridge this gap. And conserve biodiversity in urban landscapes.