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Emphasise the need to create an enabling environment by planting more trees, the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, yesterday, inaugurated a two-day conference on Sustainable landscapes and forest ecosystems: Theory to Practice. He stressed on the need to provide new and innovative ways to bring more areas under forest and tree cover. He also launched the Wood is Good campaign, stressing the importance of wood as an environment friendly and a renewable resource having zero carbon footprint.
The programme brought together experts from India and US to develop technologies, tools and methods of forest management. The objectives of the conference were – exploring issues and opportunities for ecosystem approach for land management in India, how the approaches and tools developed under the Forest-PLUS programme could be used to improve forest management and to document along with disseminating the various information.
Reiterating the Government’s commitment to increase India’s forest cover from 24 to 33 per cent and creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in forests. Vardhan said that the target can be achieved through a number of planned afforestation drives and initiatives. He also said that there should be a balance between environmental and developmental concerns, while urging the scientists and foresters gathered to devise a solution for the problem of weeds.
The partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-Plus) is a joint programme by the United States agency for International Development (USAID) and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF and CC) to strengthen the capacity for REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) implementation in India.
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