Conservation of natural resources Govt’s top priority: Forest Minister

Kathua: Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh has described the climate change and global warming as greatest challenges confronting mankind that necessitates collective action to reverse its negative impact.

“World Arbor Day” offered an opportunity to everyone to contribute their part in making the earth a better and a healthy place to live, the Minister stated this while addressing a large gathering at a function organized by the Forest Department on 43rd World Arbor Day at Kathua.

Principal, Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Ravi Kesar, Director ,Social Forestry , Ashwani Gupta, Director ,Environment and Remote Sensing, O P Sharma, Chief Conservators ,Forests, J Frankoi, Farooq Gillani, Kh Qamar-ud-Din, Director, SFRI ,B M Sharma ,Regional Director, Social Forestry ,Roop Kour Avtar besides Divisional Forest Officers and concerned officials were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Singh said that Jammu and Kashmir has blessed with rich biodiversity in its social, cultural and climate arena and efforts are afoot to preserve the natural wealth of the state.

The Minister stressed on maintaining a clean environment with abundance of forests as the only way to guarantee human survival on the globe.

Singh called for public participation at large in the campaign of tree planting and make ‘World Arbor Day’ a great success.

He further said that in this context, the Department of Social Forestry has been working relentlessly for increasing tree cover both inside and outside forest areas.

Singh said that the department is putting determined efforts in generating awareness among the masses by organizing plantation drives across the State and educating the population towards safeguarding the environment to secure future generations.

He said that due to increasing human interference, exploitation of natural resources and climate change in the recent times has threatened the sustenance of its ecosystem.

“Everyone has a moral duty to preserve greenery, protect tree belts and to go for large scale plantations on all wasteland and areas available around their houses, road sides, canal banks, schools, and other institutions”, the Minister maintained.

The Minister said that world is witnessing abnormal behavior of nature including untimely and heavy rains, severe and prolonged droughts and other environmental hazards which have clearly been linked to climate change. The warning signs of global warming have brought the world together on a single platform to discuss the vital issue and seek solutions to meet the challenge collectively, the Minister added.

Elaborating Government’s initiatives in conserving natural resources, the Minister said that during the last three years, over thousands of kanal of forest land has been retrieved and further added that the government has undertook a massive plantation drive across the State to rejuvenate the degraded forest areas.

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