On the occasion of World Environment Day, the government today announced implementation of the Nagar van scheme to develop 200 Urban Forests across the country in next five years with a renewed focus on people’s participation and collaboration between Forest Department, Municipal bodies, NGOs, Corporates and local citizens.World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on 5th June every year. Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change celebrates WED focusing on the theme declared by United Nation’s Environment Programme (UNEP) and organizes several events. This year’s theme is ‘Biodiversity’. In view of the prevalent situation due to COVID-19 pandemic the ministry held virtual celebrations of World Environment Day on this year’s theme with focus on Nagar Van (Urban Forests).
Releasing a brochure on the best practices on Urban Forests and announcing the Nagar Van scheme, Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar said that these forests will work as lungs of the cities and will primarily be on the forest land in the City or any other vacant land offered by local urban local bodies. Stressing on this year’s theme i.e. “Time for Nature” with special focus on biodiversity, Shri Javadekar said “thumb rule is that if we protect nature, nature protects us” .Prakash Javadekar✔@PrakashJavdekar
India is endowed with rich biodiversity having several species of animals and plants and hosts 4 of the 35 global bio-diversity hotspots containing several endemic species. However, increasing population, deforestation, urbanisation and industrialisation have put our natural resources under tremendous pressure causing loss of biodiversity. Biodiversity is vital for survival of all life form on this planet and is a key to providing various ecological services. Biodiversity conservation has traditionally been considered confined to remote forest areas but with increasing urbanisation a need has arisen to safeguard and save biodiversity in urban areas also. Urban forest is the best way to bridge this gap. The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has therefore, appropriately adopted Nagar van as the theme of WED celebrations 2020 to promote and conserve biodiversity in urban landscapes.