Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said children must be encouraged to plant trees as forestry goals cannot be achieved unless plantation becomes a "part of the younger generation's value system." Addressing the fifth convocation of the Forest Research Institute (FRI) deemed University here, the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said his ministry had introduced a "beautiful concept" of school nurseries which could be a "good step" towards inculcating the value of conservation in young minds.
"Under the concept, schools with enough space would build a nursery on their campuses by involving students in the exercise," Javadekar said. "Each student would be given a sapling to plant in a pot at the school nursery. Once it grew a little after a year or so he will be given the plant to take home as a reward to plant it within his own compound or in the neighbourhood," Javadekar said.
The Union minister said it could be an effective way to make the younger generation aware of the need for forest conservation. "Unless plantation becomes a part of our value system we cannot achieve our forestry goals," Javadekar said.
Javadekar also emphasised on social forestry describing forest dwellers as the "real protectors of forest wealth." He said though India accounted for 24 per cent of the world's forest cover it was also confronting a "strange situation" at places.
Citing an example, Javadekar said cultivation of sandalwood was unique to India but now the country is forced to import it from Australia. "I have always maintained that conserving the 'panchatatva' (water, air, soil, fire, sky) is the main objective of my ministry," the Union minister said, adding that "through people's participation in the conservation process the objective can be achieved."
Congratulating the varsity students, Javadekar said they should consider themselves "lucky" as they got a chance to pursue their studies on FRI's beautiful campus. Javadekar announced that funds for the repairs of FRI building would be sanctioned within two weeks.
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