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Tree Plantation Drive at Asola-Bhati Wildlife Sanctuary Advances Green Initiative

New Delhi: In a bid to further the sapling plantation campaign initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on World Environment Day, June 5, 2024, a massive tree plantation drive was held today at the Asola-Bhati Wildlife Sanctuary. This event was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, and the Department of Forest and Wildlife, Government of NCT of Delhi.

Addressing the gathering, Bhupender Yadav underscored the importance of the initiative launched by the Prime Minister in Buddha Garden, New Delhi, on World Environment Day. He emphasized that this campaign would contribute significantly to achieving green cover targets and promoting a sustainable lifestyle to combat climate change. “There is a need to maintain a balance between scientific progress and nature,” Yadav noted, highlighting the deep ecological sense necessary for fostering organic relations between nature and people.

Yadav elaborated on various international initiatives led by Prime Minister Modi, such as Mission Life, International Solar Alliance, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, aimed at promoting environment-friendly lifestyles, reducing carbon emissions, and utilizing renewable energy. He proudly mentioned that India met its commitment to reduce the intensity of carbon emissions nine years ahead of the target set by the Paris Agreement.

The Union Minister also discussed the critical role of nature in providing essential resources like food, cooking oil, medicines, and energy. He highlighted various biodiversity conservation programs, including Cheetah relocation, Project Tiger, Project Elephant, Project Lion, and Big Cat Alliance, all integral parts of India’s Climate Action Programme. Yadav stressed the importance of passing on a healthy environment to future generations.

Yadav called for the demarcation of areas in Nagar Vans for plantations, involving socio-cultural organizations, self-help groups, corporates, schools, colleges, and universities. He directed Principal Chief Conservators of Forests (PCCFs) and Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) to identify native species area-wise for comprehensive seed distribution across States and Union Territories. Emphasizing the importance of planting native species, he encouraged the initiative ‘Ek Ped Maa Ke Naam,’ urging people to plant trees in honor of their mothers.

Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Vinai Kumar Saxena, lauded the Prime Minister’s commitment to nature and highlighted the Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) success in planting over 200,000 trees with a 90% survival rate in the past two years. He stressed the need for individual responsibility in planting and nurturing trees and called upon citizens to plant at least one tree to enhance the green cover in Delhi and across the country.

Kirtivardhan Singh, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, praised the ‘Ek Ped Maa Ke Naam’ campaign, describing tree planting as a sacred activity and a unique way to honor one’s mother. He cited the Matsya Purana, which equates one tree to ten children, underscoring the profound impact of tree planting on future generations.

During the event, Bhupender Yadav unveiled the “Matri Van” plaque at Asola-Bhati Wildlife Sanctuary, where the plantation was conducted under the campaign ‘Ek Ped Maa Ke Naam.’ The drive saw active participation from children and their mothers, along with officials from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Forest Department of NCT Delhi. A total of 1,000 saplings of indigenous species such as Sita Ashok, Peepal, Neem, Jamun, and Moulshree were planted over approximately one hectare of degraded land.

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