On July 5, 2017, Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan launched a month-long plantation drive to mark Van Mahotsav.
Launch plantation drive to mark Van Mahotsav:
The plantation drive was organised at Ram Lila Park, C. C Colony and Model Town in Delhi.
- Harsh vardhan planted a sapling and also distributed saplings to local residents.
- Speaking on the occasion, he advised people to plant native trees because they readily adapt to local climate and integrate into the eco-system.
- He urged the people to become ‘Green ambassadors’ and participate actively in plantation drives during the period of monsoon, in keeping with the spirit of Van Mahotsav.
- He added that in order to meet goals set by India under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), initiatives such as plantation drives on a large scale are important.
About Van Mahotsav:
Van Mahotsav (Festival of trees)is an annual tree-planting movement in India, which began in 1950.
- Van Mahotsav festival was started in 1950 by Dr.K M Munshi, the then Union Minister for Agriculture and Food to create enthusiasm among masses for forest conservation and planting trees.
- The plantation drive under Van Mahotsav was supported by national leaders like Dr Rajendra Prasadand Jawaharlal Nehru.
- It is now a week-long festival, celebrated in different parts of India, usually between 1 July and 7 July.
- The objective behind celebrating the Mahotsav is to keep local people involved in plantation drives and spread environmental awareness.
- In context of Van Mahotsav it is important to note that at the end of 2016, tree cover of India (including forests and non-forest areas) was 23.81%. The Government of India has set a target of 33% cover by 2020.