The Jammu and Kashmir government will frame a new forest policy as part of its efforts to reverse damage to biodiversity and focus on environmental conservation. “The government will frame a new forest policy that will primarily focus on environmental conservation,” Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said after launching “Sabzar-wa-Shafaf”, an afforestation drive in collaboration with the Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps at Baltal in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir.
“Time has come to rethink our relationship with the environment by looking for practical ways in harmonising human activities with what the environment can sustain over the long run,” he said. Under the “Sabzar-wa-Shafaf” initiative, plantation drive have been undertaken at Lolab in Kupwara, Baltal in Ganderbal and Bandipora to achieve a target of planting 5,000 new saplings this season, officials said.
With active support of children and locals, nearly 1,300 deodars and 700 kail saplings will be planted to rejuvenate the forests under the plantation drive at Baltal, they said. Describing loss of biodiversity as one of the biggest challenges for the government, Sayeed stressed on the people’s participation in maintaining ecological balance.
According to PTI, he directed the Forest Department to undertake reforestation drives on denuded forest lands in other parts of the state. “There is also an urgent need to make people cognisant about the significance of forests and protecting our rich biodiversity,” he said. The Chief Minister also asked the Forest Department to undertake awareness campaigns on ecological conservation.
Stating that tourism would remain subservient to environment, he laid emphasis on the need to use scientific technologies for proper disposal of waste and sewage.
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