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CM addresses the State through BISAG technology on International Day of Forests

Gujarat CM Smt. Anandiben Patel addressed the state through BISAG, to raise awareness on the importance of forests in our lives, on the occasion of 44th International Day of Forests today, which is celebrated annually on 21st March, usually the day of spring equinox.

Talking on the importance of forests, which cover one third of the Earth’s surface, Smt. Patel said that around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood. She added that the most important function of the forests is their role in maintaining environmental balance and atmospheric carbon dioxide. She stated that conservation and protection of environment is our cultural inheritance and we are known to worship trees since ancient times. Quoting an incident of Ramayana, she also said that the use of herbs, plants and trees had been well understood by our ancestors and only they developed the concept of Ayurveda.

The CM talked about the measures taken by the state government with public participation to address the issue of decreasing groundwater level. She also mentioned the ‘Clean Ganga Mission’ of Shri Narendra Modi and also reminded his appeal to plant five trees on birth of a daughter. Plantation of trees will help the next generation, she added. She also described the various promotional measures of the state government, inspired and initiated by Shri Narendra Modi, like Social and Cultural Forestry, Van Mahotsav, etc. to encourage the participation of the people to grow more trees.

Smt. Patel, in her speech, shed light on the economic benefits of forestation and the use of modern technology to increase prosperity in rural areas. She also shared the details of the financial assistance provided to the local people by the Forest Department. She also lauded the participation of women in participatory forest management. The CM also spoke about and congratulated Forest Department for grassland rehab project, preservation of Cher forests, Mangroves in coastal areas, eco tourism, etc.

Talking about the unexpected natural calamities the world is facing today due to global warming and climate change, Smt. Patel said that Gujarat has already taken precautionary measures and prepared itself to meet such challenges. Gujarat has always strived for clean and green technology, she proudly added. Smt. Patel stated that development at the cost of environment can never sustain. Today is the time to create a climate smart future and to resolve to keep our Gujarat Clean and Green, she said.

It is however notable that there has been an increase of 2347 Sq.KM in the state forest area in last one and a half decade, i.e. from 9.86% to 11.05% of the total geographical area, as a result of persistent efforts of the state government. There is also an increase of 20% in number of trees in last one decade. The green cover of Gujarat is 4% against the national average of 2.77%.

On this occasion, Forest & Environment Minister Shri Mangubhai Patel, MoS for Forest & Environment Shri Bachubhai Khabad, ACS Forest & Environment Dept. Shri P. K. Taneja and others remained present and about 10 lakh people across the state including district collectors, DDOs, local people, etc. witnessed the program through video conferencing. Symbolic plantation was also done by the CM to mark this occasion.

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