Centre launches project to better green cover in Aravalli Hill’s buffer

Forests on around 35,000 hectare land in Haryana and 18,000 hectares in Gurugram will be revived under the project

Aravalli Green Project

New Delhi: Union minister for environment, forest and climate change Bhupender Yadav on Friday launched the Aravalli green wall project, a major initiative to enhance green cover in the range of five km buffer area around the Aravalli Hill range in five states. The programme was organised at Tilki village of Haryana to mark the International Day of forests.

At the event, the minister unveiled the national action plan to combat desertification and land degradation through forestry interventions and a FAQ on agro-forestry published by Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE). The Union minister also participated in a plantation drive.

Speaking on this occasion, Yadav said that the Aravalli green wall project would 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. Forests on around 35,000 hectare land in Haryana and 18,000 hectares in Gurugram will be revived under the project.

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“The project will benefit the local communities by providing them with employment opportunities, income generation and ecosystem services,” said the minister, while appreciating 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 achieve the national goal of creating an additional 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon sink by 2030.

Aravalli Green project

Rejuvenation of water bodies and catchment of the local streams to improve overall soil moisture regime, productivity and drought resilience is among the strategies of the national level action plan. The programme also intends to develop synergy between restoration, socio-economic factors and development activities to ensure that both conservation and development can be achieved, said an official of the ministry of environment, forest and climate change.

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Haryana forest minister Kanwar Pal Gurjar emphasized the importance of afforestation and restoration of degraded forests to mitigate the effects of climate change. He spoke about the forest department’s ongoing efforts to increase the state’s green cover and protect its wildlife.

Aravalli green wall project in Haryana

In the initial phase, 75 water bodies will be rejuvenated under the project, starting with five waterbodies each in every district of Aravalli landscape on March 25th. The project will also include large-scale plantation drives and 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. Voluntary organization, Society for Geoinformatics and Sustainable Development and NGO, IMGurgaon are being engaged to mobilize people for Shramdaan for revival of water bodies at Bandhwadi and Ghata Bundh respectively.

About Aravalli green wall project

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 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.

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