Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday launched the State-wide tree plantation programme – ‘Clean-Green Arunachal Campaign 2019’ – by kickstarting the campaign to launch 1 lakh tree saplings within the next 24 hours.
Speaking on the occasion here at the Art of Living campus at Jollang near here, Khandu said to achieve the target of planting 1 lakh tree in a day, the drive is being carried out across the State by the Forest Department.
Pema Khandu said the campaign being held as part of Van Mahotsav celebration has also set the target of planting 1 crore tree within the next five years.
Referring to the biodiversity richness of the State, the Chief Minister said, “Arunachal is known globally for its huge forest cover and is considered one of the eighteen ‘biodiversity hotspots’ in the world”. He said the forest carbon stock in Arunachal comes to 148.52 tonnes per ha, which is highest in the country and whose value in terms of carbon credit at 6 Euros per tonne works out to Rs 48,000 crore annually.
Highlighting on the relevance of forest in tribal societies, Khandu said both are interconnected and culturally bonded where dependence on forest is vital for tribal people for their everyday needs.
He called upon the Forest Department to come up with a vision to preserve this intricate link and to enable the tribal people to reap economic benefit from the forest in a sustainable way.
During the occasion, the Chief Minister also called for giving forethought to such agendas, which in the name of protecting mother earth only aims to block the development vital for the well being of the State. He said such misplaced agendas are not in the interest of the State and called upon the young mind to analyse for themselves.
All dignitaries and school children present, later, carried out a ceremonial plantation drive on the occasion. Present on the occasion were Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Urban Development Minister Kamlung Mossang.
In his address, the Deputy Chief Minister said that the State Government has accorded priority to conservation of forests and biodiversity.
“This State-wide campaign will see plantation of one lakh tree saplings within the next 24 hours. Despite state having 82% forest cover, the government launched the campaign so that this plantation drive will help create awareness about the value of greenery in the forest and protect environment and combat climate change,” he added.