Each one of us should plant one tree
INVC NEWS Shimla, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched Rs. 800 crore “Improvement of Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystems Management and Livelihoods” project for the State during a function organised here on Monday evening. This project would be implemented in six districts of the State viz. Kullu, Lahaul and Spiti, Mandi, Bilaspur, Shimla and Kinnaur for a time period of ten years. Jai Ram Thakur said that this project would involve management of forest ecological system management, protection of bio-diversity, livelihood improvement and strengthening of socio-economic development through environment conservation efforts. He said that under this project works would be carried out through Rural Forest Development Society and Bio-diversity Management Committees constituted for Joint Forest Management. He said that about 460 Committees would be constituted under this Project. The project would not only ensure conservation of bio-diversity but would also help in sustainable socio-economic development of the State. He said that both the tribal districts of the State have been covered under it which would help in conserving the unique flora and fauna of the districts. The Chief Minister said that special provision has been made for the communities depending on collection and extraction of herbs. The people involved in this avocation would be provided services of experts for collection of herbs and for its proper marketing. He said that pasture land and grass lands would also be improved under this project and efforts would be made to ensure active participation of the people in afforestation. He said that the afforestation should not be merely a ceremonial occasion but we must also ensure the survival rate of the tree planted. He said that each one of us should plant one tree. The new concept for tree plantation must be adopted such as “Mitr Tree” or “Gotra Tree” should be introduced according to the topography and geographic conditions of the respective area, under which a person can adopt one tree as a Gotra Tree or a Friend Tree and vow to protect it throughout his life. He said that involvement of local populace must also be ensured for conservation of trees and motivate them for tree plantation. Forest Minister Govind Singh Thakur said that this project was the result of benevolence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. He said that KFW Project was already being implemented with German assistance in Kangra and Chamba districts of the State. He said that over 17.54 lakh trees were planted during the special plantation campaign launched by the State with the active participation of general public. Chief representative of JICA, Katsuo Matsumoto said that the project has been implemented with an objective to conserve bio-diversity of Himachal Pradesh. The project would not only help in environment improvement but also go a long way in reducing human-wildlife conflict. He thanked the State Government for extending full cooperation in signing of this project. Additional Chief Secretary, Forests Tarun Kapoor detailed various salient features of the project. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests GS Goraya, representative of JICA Vineet Sarin were present on the occasion among others.