The Himachal Pradesh Government is aiming to increase its forest area by 30 per cent by 2030 and to achieve this goal initiatives have been taken up, an official said on Tuesday.
Plantation campaigns are being carried out by the state Forest Department in identified places. Last year by involving 1,18,932 people, 26,47,146 saplings were planted, a government spokesperson told IANS.
This campaign was run for five days and it was for the first time record saplings were planted under a campaign. As a result of public campaigns, the Forest Department has succeeded in increasing the green cover.
Quoting a Forest Survey of India report for 2019, the green forest cover area which was 15,100 sq km in the 2017 has now increased to 15,433.52 sq km in 2019.An increase has also been reported in very dense, moderate dense and open forest areas, he said.
The moderately dense forest area, which was 6,705 sq km 2017, has increased to 7,125.93 sq km in 2019.
Likewise, between 2017 and 2019, the dense forest area of the state has increased from 3,110 sq km to 3,112.71 sq km.In order to connect the forest enhancement with livelihood, the Himachal Pradesh Forest Eco System Management and Livelihood Improvement project of Rs 800 crore funded by JICA has been started in six districts -- Kullu, Mandi, Lahaul-Spiti, Bilaspur, Shimla and Kinnaur.
The main aim of this project is to improve ecosystem services in the forest area for sustainable socio-economic development. Under the project, 460 committees will be constituted for promoting activities like forest and environmental protection, biodiversity and organism conservation and improvement in livelihood.
Through this project, local rural forest development committees will be empowered to visit various states and various training programmes will be organised to make them aware of about the ongoing schemes in other states.In addition, the Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystem Climate Proofing Project of Rs 310 crore is being implemented in the districts of Kangra and Chamba in collaboration with the German government and the German Development Bank (KFW).
To make every section aware about the rights of girl child and to bring the idea of linking them to environment and to society, the state has launched the 'Ek Buta Beti Ke Naam' scheme.
Under this scheme, after September 20, 2019, the Forest Department is providing five saplings, tri-guards, child's name plate, 20 kg of earthworm fertilizer and technical information to each daughter's family.
About 11,50,000 saplings are projected to be planted in the next five years and for which Rs 28.75 crore will be spent.