New Delhi [India], March 25 (ANI): Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav on Saturday launched the Aravalli Green Wall Project, a major initiative to increase green cover in the 5 km buffer area around the Aravalli Hill Range in four states at a function organised to celebrate the International Day of Forests at Tikli Village in Haryana.
At the event, Bhupender Yadav said, "Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi India is moving to revive the Aravallis through various initiatives like single-use plastic ban, water conservation efforts and natural resources protection."The minister unveiled the National Action Plan to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation Through Forestry Interventions and a FAQ on Agro-forestry published by the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education. The Union Minister also participated in a plantation drive.
Speaking on this occasion, Yadav said, "The Aravalli Green Wall Project will not only increase the green cover and biodiversity of the Aravalli through afforestation, reforestation and restoration of water bodies but also improve the soil fertility, water availability and climate resilience of the region.""The project will benefit the local communities by providing them with employment opportunities, income generation and ecosystem services," he added.
The Union Minister appreciated the efforts of the Haryana Forest Department and other stakeholders for their cooperation and support in implementing the project and reiterated the government's commitment to achieving the national goal of creating an additional 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon sink by 2030.
He said, "Rejuvenation of water bodies and catchment of the local streams will help in improving the overall soil moisture regime, productivity and drought resilience."He highlighted the importance of developing synergy between restoration, socio-economic factors and development activities to ensure that both conservation and development can be achieved.
In the initial phase, 75 water bodies will be rejuvenated under the project, starting with five waterbodies each in every district of the Aravalli landscape on March 25.
The project will also include large-scale plantation drives and the conservation of water resources in the Aravalli region.
The project will cover degraded land in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Bhiwani, Mahendergarh and in Rewari districts of Haryana.
A voluntary organization, Society for Geoinformatics and Sustainable Development and NGO, Gurgaon are being engaged to mobilize people for Shramdaan for the revival of water bodies at Bandhwadi and Ghata Bundh respectively.
The Aravalli Green Wall Project is part of the Union Environment Ministry's vision to create green corridors across the country to combat land degradation and desertification.
The project covers the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Delhi - where the Aravalli hills landscape span over 6 million hectares of land.
The project will involve planting native species of trees and shrubs on scrubland, wasteland and degraded forest land, along with rejuvenating and restoring surface water bodies such as ponds, lakes and streams.
The project will also focus on agroforestry and pasture development to enhance the livelihoods of local communities. (ANI)