New Delhi: India is known to be a country that celebrates several festivals related to trees. One of these festivals is the Van Mahotsav or the Forest Festival. Van Mahotsav was started as a crusade with the purpose of saving the mother earth and replenishing the green cover of the country. The main aim of the Forest Festival is to encourage every citizen of India to plant a sapling during the week. Also, awareness campaigns about the benefits and protection of trees and the harm caused by cutting down trees are held, promoting it as the festival of life.
Also Read: Now An App To Save Trees
Here Are Some Stark Facts About Forests You Must Know
- Forests cover nearly 31 per cent of our planet’s land area.
- As per United Nations, forests are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects
- Lost forests mean the disappearance of livelihoods in rural communities, increased carbon emissions, diminished biodiversity and the degradation of land, the organisation adds.
- Each year, 10 million hectares of forest are destroyed, says the UN.
- Two billion hectares of land on Earth are degraded, affecting some 3.2 billion people, driving species to extinction and intensifying climate change, as per the UN.
- According to the India State Of Forest Report 2021, the tree cover in India is estimated as 95,748 sq km which is 2.91 per cent of the geographical area of the country. This is an increase of 721 sq km from last assessment in 2019.
- India’s forest cover is 7,13,789 sq km which is 21.71% of the geographical area of the country. This is an increase of 1,540 sq km from last assessment in 2019, the report adds.
- The European Environment Agency says that in over one year, a mature tree can absorb about 22 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and in exchange release oxygen.
- Each year, 1.3 million trees are estimated to remove more than 2,500 tonnes of pollutants from the air, it adds.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.