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Environment minister inaugurates Van Mahotsav

A month-long tree planting drive under the Van Mahotsav celebrations was launched by the environment minister in Delhi on Wednesday.

health Updated: Jul 05, 2017 17:52 IST

The environment minister on Wednesday launched a month-long tree plantation drive to mark Van Mahotsav. The first tree planting campaign started in Delhi.

It was part of Van Mahotsav celebrations, that is celebrated in the first week of July every year since 1950 in India. Then agriculture minister, Kulapati K. M. Munshi, had started the tradition.

Harsh Vardhan, highlighted the importance of tree planting for India to achieve its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCs). The country has vowed to expand its carbon sink, and forests are key to this because they absorb carbon dioxide are considered an important way to check the global rise in temperatures. Under the commitment, India has to create an additional sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030.

“Unfortunately, we did not pay much attention to whatever our ancestors had told us. That is why today the threats of climate change and global warming have arisen,” Harsh Vardhan said.

On the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5 Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted people to plant trees marking the day by planting a sapling in his residence lawns himself.

Harsh Vardhan’s predecessor, Anil Madhav Dave passed away on May 18. Dave, who was known as an avid environmentalist, in his will had called on people to plant trees in his remembrance.