3.2 Lakh Saplings to Be Planted in Assam

The Assam Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain on Wednesday had declared that 3.2 lakh saplings will be planted in 18,500 hectares during the year 2013-14 across the State.

On the occasion of the World Environment Day at the International Convention Centre, Srimanta Shankardev Kalakshetra, the Minister also said there will be transparency regarding the exact number of trees to be planted and its survival ratio in each division and district of Assam. Apart from this, tree saplings will also be planted in each of the total 2,200 panchayats in the State within a week’s time.

The programme was jointly organized by the Forest Department, Pollution Control Board and Assam Science Technology and Environment Council.

“Plant a tree and get a friend for life,” said the Minister while distributing free tree saplings to young children.

The purpose was to nurture an idea of nature conservation among young generation.

World Environment Day was adopted at the United Nations Human Convention in 1972 at Stockholm, Sweden. The first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1973. World Environment Day is hosted every year by a different city with a different theme. This year the host nation is Mongolia with the theme – Think, Eat, Save.

On the occasion as special invitee, Vice Chancellor of Assam Agricultural University Dr K.M. Bujarbaruah laid down the history, significance and statistics of ‘World Environment Day’.

He said globally 50% of the tropical forests have been lost. One in every 7 people in the world goes to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger. 1 litre of petrol and diesel emits 2.3 kg and 2.7 kg of carbon dioxide respectively. Working on the computer for 32 hours also emits 1 kg of carbon dioxide.

He laid out that since Independence, India’s population has increased from 351 million to over 1300 million; agricultural land has increased from 119 million hac to 141 million hac.; food grain has increased from 51 million tonnes to 257 million tonnes.

“By 2020, India will require 300 million tonnes of food grains. But the amount of food wastes annually is 1.3 billion tonnes, which is enough to feed the estimated 900 million hungry people of the world,” Dr Bujarbaruah said.

Dr Bujarbaruah also stated that Assam Agricultural University is developing post-harvest loss countering technology to help farmers prevent loss after flood.

The welcome address was given by Director of Assam Science Technology and Environment Council Haresh Chandra Dutta who said that eco-clubs as many in 13 districts in Assam have been imparting environmental awareness and its preservation to children.

Among those present were, PCCF V.K. Vishnoi, PCCF (Wildlife) Suresh Chand and Chairman of Pollution Control Board Dr R.M. Dubey.

Hemanta Kumar Nath is a correspondent in Assam, India, who reports on local news in Assam, the north east Indian state.