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Year of Plantation launched

Minister for Forest MC Konyak planting a tree sapling at Heritage Complex, Kisama, Saturday. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, JUN 5 (NPN):
Published on 6 Jun. 2010 12:14 AM IST
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Coinciding with the World Environment Day, state forest department on Saturday launched the “Year of Plantation.”
Speaking at the official launch at Naga Heritage Complex, Kisama as chief guest, minister for forest, ecology, environment and wildlife and excise, M. C. Konyak said that the “Year of Plantation 2010” was envisaged to be an extensive season long program covering the whole state and would involve participants from diverse walks of life such as the church, education institutes, rural farmers and members from civil society.
The minister made a clarion call to each and every citizen to take the challenge and make the state a paradigm for sustainable development. “The youth, being the future of the state are invited to be actively involved in this programme,” he said.
Stating that the state has very rich floral and fauna diversity, the minister said that the richness was evident in the fact that there were 2431 species of flowering plants in the state as well as nine non flowering species. A large number of these plant species are endemic to the state or the northeast, he added. Konyak, however, pointed out that the fauna of the state has not been comprehensively documented, as the exact figure for the species diversity of animals in the state was not available.
The minister also revealed that according to the latest report of the forest survey of India, the loss of forest cover in the state was 201 sq kms between 2005 and 2007 and felt that the major cause of this loss could be attributed to the prevailing practice of jhum cultivation in the state. Other causes such as deforestation, urbanization and climate change have a devastating effect on the biodiversity of the state, he said.
The presence of the large number of endemic and rare species in the state makes the biodiversity of the state very susceptible to any change in the environment, he added.
The minister said that the World Environment Day (WED) was started by United Nations in 1972 and every year June 5 was celebrated to give human face to environment issues, empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development.
MLA and adviser IT, Er. Vikho Yhoshu expressed gratitude to the minister and forest department for organizing the program in Kisama.
In his message state chef minister Neiphiu Rio appealed to all to inculcate and cultivate the ethics of conservation as it was the very basis on which the future of the state would be built upon.
Additional PCCF and chief wild life warden Dr. K. S. Shashidar said declaring the year of plantation would go a long way to save environment and mother earth. He lauded the initiative taken by the minister for forest. Earlier the function was chaired by forest secretary Elusing Meru and the vote of thanks was proposed by additional PCCF, K. R. Lyngdoh.

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