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July 28, 2022 11:21 pm

Balance Between Nature & Development Our Top Priority: LG

Samba- Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir government has made reforms to reduce the impact of climate change and overcoming the challenges of fragile ecosystem, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha said on Thursday that protection & conservation of natural resources and striking a perfect balance between nature & development is top most priority of his administration

Sinha made these remarks during the launch of “Green Jammu & Kashmir Drive” here from AIIMS Vijaypur, an official spokesperson said. The target for the current year is planting of 1.5 crore saplings.

The LG, he said, reiterated the government’s commitment towards sustainable management of rich natural wealth to combat climate change and ensure a better future for younger generations.

“Protection & conservation of natural resources and striking a perfect balance between nature & development is our top most priority,” Sinha said.

The LG, according to the spokesperson highlighted the role of community participation in ecologically sustainable development and asked the PRIs and Civil Society to play effective role as Partners of Green Mission.

“Two R’s – Respect and Restore the delicate balance in nature is the way forward for a Green Future. Citizens must take the lead in the ecological movement for regeneration,” the LG said.

He also underscored the reforms introduced by the UT government in the last two years aimed at reducing the impact of climate change and overcoming the challenges of fragile ecosystem.

“Jammu and Kashmir is blessed with nature’s rich resources, with 54% of the area under green cover. A large population of J&K UT is dependent on forests for their livelihood. Dedicated efforts are being made to safeguard their interest, besides bringing behavior change in the lifestyle of people making conservation of nature a part of their everyday life,” Sinha added.

Terming forests as the mainstay of priority sectors of J&K’s economy including Agriculture, Horticulture, Tourism, Power Generation, Wood Industry and Animal Husbandry, the LG, as per the spokesperson, shared the government’s vision to bring two-third area of the UT under forest & tree cover and make the protection of natural resources an integral part of J&K’s development model.

“J&K Social Forestry Plantation Rules is another great example of devolution of funds, functions to panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir, empowering all 4290 Village Panchayat Plantation Committees of the UT,” the LG said.

According to the spokesperson, Sinha cited a report of the central government, and noted that the per capita value of forest produce in J&K is the highest in the country which comes to Rs. 25 as compared to Rs. 3.72 for Madhya Pradesh, Rs. 2.48 for Kerala and Rs. 1.69 for Maharashtra.

“Our per capita wood consumption is also higher than other states and import of wood worth Rs 500-600 crore is being done every year,” the LG said, while underlining the need for integrating the development process with the environment protection campaigns.

“As J&K is witnessing a new era of industrial development, Forests and Industries Departments are coming together to plant 1.5 lakh trees of different varieties around the Industrial Parks, Industrial Clusters which should be a regular activity, “ the LG added.

According to the spokesperson, Sinha called for active participation of the people, PRIs, Village Plantation Committees, school children in environment conservation efforts and urged the citizens to follow the Green Protocol voluntarily by using biodegradable products only at the weddings.

The LG, he said, also advised the Forest Department and the Jammu and Kashmir School Education Board to introduce “Best out of Waste” in the home work tasks for creating awareness about environmental protection among the children.

“He further called for running a campaign against the use of plastic and reaching out to the maximum population to make them aware about the importance of environment protection & conservation,” the spokesperson said.

He said that the LG also appreciated the Forest department and all the stakeholders for planting about 2 crore 38 lakh new saplings in the last two years and making a significant contribution in increasing the UT’s green cover.

He further commended the Panchayat Village Plantation Committees for their active participation in Natural Resource Management.

On the occasion, the spokesperson said that the LG e-inaugurated a double storey office building of Conservator of Forest, North Circle in Sopore, besides releasing a documentary and a publication on Green J&K Drive and Jan-Bhagidari – one year of working in partnership with Village Panchayat Plantation Committee. A tree sapling was also planted by the LG in the premises of AIIMS.

To mark the day, he said, Sinha felicitated Village Panchayat Plantation Committees for outstanding performance in plantation drives in their respective panchayats. Notified Jammu and Kashmir Social Forestry (Plantation) Rules-2022 were also unveiled on the occasion.

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