Begin with your home first is an ancient advice and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take it literally planting a sapling on Friday to kick off the World Environment Day.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said Cricket team captain Virat Kohli and wrestler Sushil Kumar will kick off the function at the ministry’s Paryavaran Bhawan while Sachin Tendulkar, Ajinkya Rane and Rohit Sharma, along with Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde and others will plant saplings in Mumbai at Joggers Park on Carter Road.
Javadekar said a new pilot project on urban forestry will be taken up in Pune on the occasion and about 4000 trees will be planted in the form of a memorial garden. Those who pay Rs 2,000 per tree will get their name etched on it or in memory of their beloved ancestors or family members, said the minister.
The nodal slogan this year for the World Environment Day is a pledge to work for Clean Air, Clean Water, Clean Energy, Clean Environment and more Green and the ministry has written to all Chief Ministers and Corporations to promote urban forestry, which is different from gardens, he said.
Urban forestry can be developed with the public participation and planting fruit saplings will help restore sustainability of the urban forestry and also act as a carbon sink, bringing the country face the climate change goals and carbon emission norms, said the minister who was on a worldwide tour promoting developing nations’ cause versus the developed ahead of the Paris Conference this year.
The urban forestry project to be named Nagar Van-udyan Yojana (Urban Forest Plan) will be funded by the compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to develop forests within urban areas and a bill in Parliament is already mooted to release Rs 35,000 crore under CAMPA to all the states.
All these efforts go a long way in reviving the Green India Mission and help create rural and tribal employmnet oppostunities in the country, pointed out the minister.