Monday, 6 June 2016
Environment Ministry to create ‘urban forests’ in 200 cities to increase green cover
On the World Environment Day today, the Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Mr. Prakash Javadekar has highlighted the need for increasing the green cover and protecting wildlife. “Urban forestry is the new thrust area and we will be taking up massive tree plantation drive in as many as 200 cities and towns across the country” said Mr. Javadekar at a commemorative functionorganized at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali, Mumbai. The Environment Ministry will launch the ‘Urban Forestry Scheme’ in Pune, where 6000 saplings will be planted to create an ‘urban jungle’ on about 80 acres of land. Mr. Javadekar observed that in most of our cities there are gardens and parks but no forests. “There are many cities where the forest department has its land but there are no forest on it or are degraded. In these places through people’s participation, we will establish urban forestry” he added. Stressing that the green mission can succeed only through active people’s participation, the Environment Minister urged the citizens to plant trees, take a selfie and share photographs on ‘wedselfie.nic.in’. Drawing attention to this year’s theme of the World Environment Day – “Go Wild For Life”, Mr. Javadekar underlined government’s resolve for protection of wild-life. He said the Government began this year’s World Environment Day celebrations by launching Asia’s first Vulture Re-introduction Programme at Pinjore in Haryana. Mr. Javadekar said, vultures – the true Swachch Bharat volunteers – had become endangered since 1990, after eating carcasses of cattle which were injected with Diclofenac – a pain killer drug. “We had more than 4 crore vultures in the country, now not even 4 lakh are left” he said. Speaking about wildlife protection, Mr Javadekar asserted that trade in wildlife products should be completely stopped. He said the Government has also initiated proactive measures for protection of wildlife and informed that ‘shoot at sight’ orders given to armed guards at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam had resulted in the death of 24 poachers. He appealed to the people not to buy any product made from wild animal body parts. “If there is no market for the products, poaching will end automatically” he remarked. The Minister, later symbolically burnt the confiscated wildlife products in the open, to send a message to end the wildlife trafficking. Mr. Javadekar said with better understanding and awareness, man and wildlife can live in harmony. He said most of tribals, who live on the edges of forests, live in harmony with nature.
Living With The Leopards
On this occasion the Environment Minister released a leaflet “Living With The Leopards” that lists out practical tips to minimize danger to ourselves. The leaflet is of utmost utility for the residents of North Mumbai suburbs adjacent to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park area, where incidents of leopard entering housing colonies are frequently reported.
Practical Ways to Live With Leopards and Minimize Danger to Ourselves
Recognize that leopards are the residents of the area and mere sighting does not translate into danger.
Leopards do not recognize our kind of boundaries, forest areas and housing colonies.
Ensure that children are supervised by adults, especially after dark
Do not move about alone after dark. If necessary, play music on your mobile phones to allow leopards to realize that there are humans around. Leopards are sensitive enough to avoid contact with humans and do their best to avoid us.
If a leopard is sighted, give it right of way and allow it to move off peacefully.
If a leopard is sighted, do not form a crowd around it. Mob behavior will cause the animal to panic and possibly harm someone in its effort to escape.
Ensure effective garbage disposal and keep the dogs indoors.
The Forest Department is the sole authority to deal with any leopard related incident. Promptly call the control room
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