“Hariyali Mahotsav” – Tree Festival

India has demonstrated to the world the essence of mindful consumption of resources; Shri Bhupender Yadav.

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The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change organized the “Hariyali Mahotsav” – Tree Festival at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi, yesterday, celebrating the nation’s zeal for planting trees and saving forests. The event was organised in collaboration with the State Governments, Police Institutions of NCT Government of Delhi and Schools of Delhi to undertake plantation drives on occasion and create awareness about the importance of trees to protect our environment for present and future generations.

Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav, called the nation forward to make the environment green and highlighted that protecting rivers, mountains, and the environment is a deeply embedded Indian sentiment as inscribed in our national song ‘Vande Mataram’. Lauding the participation of thousands of school children from Delhi, Delhi Police, officials of Delhi Forest Department, officials from M/o Environment, Forest and Climate Change, civil societies/NGOs and institutions from all across the country in joining the festival of “tree planting” in person and those who joined through virtual mode across the country, he urged people to follow environment-friendly lifestyle to save our planet. Tree plantation is one of the actions towards Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE)as announced by the Prime Minister in CoP 26 at Glasgow. We need all of us to come together to take LiFE forward as a campaign.

The programme involves plantation activities at 75 Nagar Vans, 75 km of road length around 75 Police establishments, 75 schools in Delhi and 75 degraded sites across the country, which clearly indicates that people are not only welcoming but willing to participate in nature conservation. He appreciated the nation’s efforts in already achieving the country’s target of producing 175 GW of renewable power and moving with full force to reaching the renewed target of creating 500 GW of renewable energy, as announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister at CoP26. India has committed to meet 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030. He also shared the achievements and benefits of the Soil Health Card Scheme launched by the Prime Minister. To date, about 23 crores of soil health cards have been issued, showing our commitment to soil health.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s call for a sustainable environment, Shri Yadav said that not only do we need to progress, provide energy, and give people a respectable life, but at the same time, we need to resolve to save the earth. He said India has a population of 17% of the world, yet it accounts for only 4% of carbon emissions. In comparison, other developed nations with the same population account for nearly 60% of carbon emissions. Therefore, India has demonstrated to the world the essence of mindful consumption of resources.

He underlined the importance of a ban on single-use plastics from 1st July, requested shared responsibility from the country’s citizens in its full implementation, and informed the efforts being directed toward creating alternative solutions for an eco-friendly, sustainable future. India hosts rich biodiversity, and despite the various anthropogenic challenges faced, the country thrives with 52 tiger reserves and 31 elephant reserves and many other endemic, vibrant wildlife and rich forests.

Speaking on occasion, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubeysaid, that tackling climate change is among the world’s major challenges. He reiterated PM’s clarion call for Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) and highlighted the importance of trees in Indian Vedas and mythology. The Minister continuously shared his resolve to plant trees over the next two months and urged the nation to plant them and nurture them.

Secretary, Smt. Leena Nandan expressed that everyone has a relationship with nature, and the program is marked not only by the plantation of trees but also symbolises the celebration of 75 years of Independence as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. She appealed to the children to not only resolve to plant trees but also spread the message to every individual they come across.

The event started with a Nukkad Natak from the school children of ASN Senior Secondary School, Delhi, giving key messages on tree plantation and substituting the plastic from our life and a message through a pledge to save trees and protect our planet. The programme reached the pinnacle with a green concert being played by the famous Grammy award winner, Indian music composer Ricky Kej. As the music plays a powerful means of creating awareness, especially direct imprinting on the youth’s mind, these green concerts were organised to highlight the vital role of flora, fauna and rivers in conserving the environment and biodiversity.