‘THE BEST TIME TO PLANT A TREE WAS 20 YEARS AGO. THE NEXT BEST TIME IS TODAY.’ And if such plantation is done in the middle of urban center like growing city of Pune, this Chinese proverb inspires to act. TERRE policy centre did just that. It launched Urban Forestry Programme by undertaking tree plantation programme on the occasion of World Environment Day of 2015.
In association with Ministry of Environment, Forest, Climate Change (MOEFCC) of India and TATA Motors , TERRE on World Environment Day planted 4000 trees at SmritiVan ( A Forest of Memories) located at the helmet in the heart of city of Pune. Hon’ble Minister Prakash Javadekar, launched the project by planting a tree in presence of thousands of enthusiastic urbanites.
For the first time in the history, according to UN report, half of the world population already live in the cities and by 2050 it will be 70 percent. “Forest lands in urban areas need to be converted into green cover with public participation” said Mr. Javadekar. Earlier, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in New Delhi launched the nation wide ‘Urban Forestry’ project. Urban forest lands in the cities in India will be converted into forest land under the project . Maharashtra State forest minister Mr. Mungantiwar also urged people to take the initiative to plant & grow more trees to help ourselves.
“ Urban forests will be the essential lungs of the cities and would provide wide range of ecosystem services like clean the air and water, temper floods, provide water and food, and conserve biodiversity”, stated Rajendra Shende , Chairman of TERRE.” The breadth of ecosystem services provided by nature is often undervalued if we consider reduction in noise noise , increase physical and psychological wellbeing, regulate the local climate, sequester CO2, and provide renewable energy”, he added. TERRE Policy Centre urged people to be a part of the mission by planting trees in memory of their beloved.
The site of Smritivan at Warje, Pune is the land under forest department. The total land of 60 Hectors is now reduced to only 16 hectors due to encroachment . The hill which was barren, now has been flourishing with trees. The 1st stage of plantation was done on Jan 2015 and 2nd stage included plantation on 6th June.
Urban forestry is the aggregation of all vegetation and green spaces within urban areas. The main aim of the urban forestry is to provide recreation to the urban people, to decrease the pollution hazard in urban environment and to create the awareness about the nature & environment. It includes multi managerial system such as watershed management, landscape designing, urban park, industrial shelter bed, urban composites and wilderness trial.
Due to industries, vehicles, urban environment is highly polluted. The tree cover in urban acts as the carbon sink which absorbs greenhouse gases like CO2 and many other industrial effluents. Apart from this urban green cover helps to prevent soil erosion, help ground water recharge and augment water conservation, decrease temperature, improve air quality.
Along with environmental benefits, urban forestry also social benefits . Urban forestry provides employments to local people. It supports livestock, augments human nutrition. Urban forestry reduces the adverse impacts of pollution on human health physically & mentally, ultimately it helps improving the human working capacity. END