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International Day of Forests

Pushpa Gujral Science City celebrated International Day of Forests on March 21, 2021 by organizing a webinar. Ms. Vidhya Sagari, IFS, Divisional Forest Officer, Sangrur was the key speaker on this occasion. Delivering her talk, she said that India is one of the ten most forest-rich countries of the world with rich biodiversity. Forest is a major environmental resource and their degradation due to industrialization is a matter of serious concern. One million species of flora and fauna have already become extinct due to deforestation. Further, it is estimated that around 2000 to 8000 species are being lost annually creating imbalance in our Ecosystem. Sincere efforts are required to save flora and fauna in the country. Therefore, there is a dire need to educate and make people aware about the need and importance of planting trees to restore forests, as well as, to control the alarming rate of global warming, she added. Dr. Neelima Jerath, Director General, Science City, in her introductory remarks said the Deptt. of Science, Technology and Environment and the Deptt. of Forests and Wildlife  had extensively studied the Shivalik Forests from 1998 to 2004. She informed that though Punjab is primarily an agricultural state with 84 % area under agriculture and only about 6-7 % area under Forests; however it harbors diverse vegetation ranging from pines to thorny forests. The major forest areas are in the North Western Shivaliks, besides Forests in the Mand area and Birs and Rakhs. Five types of Forests exist which include Shivalik Chir Pine Forests in Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur (especially Dhar Dunera area) which are a store house of medicinal plants in the State, the Khair-Sissoo forests in the foothills, the dry deciduous forests in the Dasuya area, the Northern Dry deciduous Forests and the Dry deciduous scrub forests in the south western parts. Considering that alluvial plains require to maintain about 15-20% area under forests, the State has started action under the Green Punjab Mission, Tandrust Punjab Mission and under ‘Other effective area-based conservation measures’. Trees Outside Forests are important to raise the green cover in the state. Pushpa Gujral Science City also harbours rich floral biodiversity with 5500 trees of 65 species and is playing an important role to bring awareness on environmental issues by organizing Nature Camps. She urged the students and teachers to grow more plants to save mother earth. Dr. Rajesh Grover, Director, Science City delivering vote of thanks at the occasion said that trees are the major source of our survival as these clean the air around us and provide us with oxygen. Further, saving trees has become very relevant in recent times due to increasing problem of global warming and climate change.