Forest are among the World's most productive land based ecosystems and essential to life on earth. With a vision to promote sustainable forest management and enhance contribution of forests and trees for sustainable development, the Forest Department organizes Van Mohatsav every year with the onset of monsoon. The Department in different areas of the state carries out a massive plantation drive to achieve the target. Forest Department through various Centre and State sponsored scheme and other financially aided projects is carrying out plantation drive.
Community participation in developmental projects is of utmost importance and understanding this, the Department has started a new initiative to engage representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions in plantation campaign. Under this initiative, 51 indigenous plants were being provided to each ward member of every panchayat and municipal bodies. These saplings are being planted on forestland, fallow land or private land with assistance of local people. As many as three lakh 57 thousand saplings have been provided to seven thousand ward members in various parts of the state.
As a result of this initiative, the state is witnessing an increase in the green cover. Since 20th July, 2021 and since then till date, 12,62,622 saplings have been planted in 1904 hectare area of forest in 456 different places. The state government has set a target of planting one crore 40 lakh sapling in 14 thousand hectare forest land in this year.
In this year, State Red Cross Society in association with the Forest Department has also planted about one lakh saplings in the state. Till date, Red Cross Society along with the Department has planted 95 thousand 548 saplings in 145 hectare area at 73 different places. Besides this, Indo- Tibetan Border Police, Sashastra Sena Bal, NABARD and other non-government organisations in collaboration with Forest Department planted saplings in various parts of the State.
To achieve Sustainable Development Goals, every effort is being made by the Forest Department, to ensure that sustainable forest management is fully integrated in long term green recovery strategies. For this, the Department is ensuring participation of different sections of the society.
Vidyarthi Van Mitra Yojna is one such scheme, which spreads awareness amongst school children on importance of natural resources and significance of trees in providing healthy environment. Under the scheme plantation and maintenance is being done by schools students is the designated area. to maintain natural assets Ek Buta Beti Ke Naam, Swarnim Vatika, Samudayik Van Sanvardhan Yojna, etc are few other schemes initiated by the Department in the state.
The rigorous efforts of the Department have proved a great success in improving the green cover in the state. The Department of Forest is making all out effort to sustainably manage the forests, halt deforestation and forest degradation.
I&PR, Himachal Pradesh