Urban Forest Programme: Celebrating Biodiversity

On 5th June 2020, Indian Government launched “Nagar Van” or Urban Forest Programme with 200 corporations or cities of India to mark the occasion of World Environment Day.

This Programme owes its importance to this year’s theme “Celebrating Biodiversity” and is unique in nature as it focuses on urban areas. Trees would be planted in those parts of urban areas which have been marked as forest lands but do not have any tree cover, as per the Environment Minister.

In this Programme, both the State government and the concerned Municipal Corporation will coordinate with each other to execute this plan. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar also added “India has 16 percent of human population in the world. We have 16 percent population of cattle in the world. We have only 2.5 percent of the world’s landmass and only 4 percent of natural resources.” The Minister calls out for a people’s movement by coming forward and working together to make this plan successful and the government is even thinking to appreciate the efforts of creating good forests with people’s participation.

Why do we need this?

This year’s theme is relevant to current circumstances and points to the fact that conserving rich biodiversity is the paramount necessity of the hour. In Rural areas, one can witness forest covers but if one compares it to the urban areas then it is evident enough that we lack the number of forests covers. Even if we have, then their number is limited to just two or three. In recent decades, cities and towns have been a prime Centre of urbanization, globalization and population upsurge.

This growing population is leading to increased demands and pressure on the existing resources. Human activities are resulting in the deterioration of our environment and that is evident from the situation that we are facing right now. The environment needs time to rejuvenate and replenish itself and that is only possible if we as humans take care of it.

The whole world calls for the need to ponder upon degrading climatic conditions and to find sustainable solutions through human inclusion. Isn’t this the time to preserve our biodiversity with such initiatives that are going to add up to our contributions? Yes, it is.

This Programme would result in moderating the climatic conditions in a favourable manner and would reduce pollution levels in cities. Moreover, it would lead to conservation of rich biodiversity and would sustain it for our future generations. Creating these forest covers will ultimately lead to the creation of better living conditions in the urbanized areas and preparation of sustainable economies for different communities.

It’s not the first time

One can witness these urban forests around the world in different countries. One such example is the Nebraska National Forest located in the United States, which is man-made urban forest cover to restore the ecosystems. Tijuca Forest in Rio de Janeiro is also one such forest covers. And there are many more undergoing projects in different cities of the world funded either by private or government organizations aimed at restoration of rich biodiversity and ecosystems.

It’s time to nurture our nature!!

What is an Urban Forest?

An urban forest is a collection of trees that grow within a city, town or a suburb including any kind of woody plant vegetation growing in and around human settlements.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Jyoti Singh

Jyoti Singh is a Former Journalism Intern at The Kootneeti

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