The drive formally commenced with plantation programmes from Sagarnath Forest Development Project in Sarlahi
With the objective to expand forest area from existing four percent to 40 percent, the Province 2 government has initiated a 'green campaign' in all eight districts of the province.
Provincial Ministry of Industry, Forest, Environment and Tourism launched the campaign by mobilising the division forest office in each district to organise a plantation drive. The drive formally commenced with plantation programmes from Sagarnath Forest Development Project of Sarlahi district on Saturday. Chief Minister Mohammad Lalbabu Raut attended the function.
Province 2 is quite vulnerable to various natural disasters like floods, drought, storms and cold waves. Therefore, trees are important to maintain an ecological balance and control natural calamities, said Suresh Mandal, the State Minister for Industry, Forest, Environment and Tourism. Province 2 has high population density, the second highest after Province 3, but forest cover is meagre. The green campaign aims to change that, he added.
Province 2 is home to 5.4 million people according to the national census, 2011. According to the ministry, samplings of various tree species were planted in around 155 hectares of land on the first day of the plantation drive. The tree plantation programme will continue till September 6.
According to Mandal, saplings of tik, sal, masala, sakhuwa, magahi, etc, have been planted in around 20 hectares of land in Sagarnath Forest Development Project, a disputed forest area which is claimed by both the federal and provincial governments. The provincial government challenged the central government's move to merge the forest project with the Timber Corporation of Nepal at the Supreme Court in August first week.
The provincial government aims to plant 350,000 saplings in various districts of the province this year. Ministry of Industry, Forest, Environment and Tourism said that it would clear the encroached forest areas and plant trees.
Source: The Kathmandu Post