The Sikkim government is committed to making sustained efforts for protection and preservation of the rich bio-diversity in the state, Chief Minister P K Chamling said on Thursday.
At the same time, a balanced approach for sustenance of environment and bio-diversity and development activities was needed, he said at an international conference on conservation of rhododendron flowers.
The Sikkim Democratic Front government, he said, has adopted a consistent approach and taken a number of initiatives for protection and preservation of the bio-diversity in the mountain state.
"We pride ourselves as nature loving people and our efforts towards protection and preservation of bio-diversity have been rewarded as Sikkim has the distinction to be one of the few states to have succeeded in increasing its forest cover over the years," the Chief Minister said.
On the rhododendron flower, which has become the state flower, Chamling said care will be taken to preserve its various species in addition to the ongoing efforts for its preservation in the upcoming Kanchenjunga bio-sphere reserve.
Sikkim is home to 36 species out of about 80 species of rhododendron flowers in the country and has one bio-sphere reserve and eight sanctuaries exclusively designated for preservation of the flower. The state has a forest cover of about 46 per cent of its land area.