NEW DELHI: Worried over the dwindling green cover in the cities, the Minister of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has proposed ‘tree tourism’ to generate interest among local people and nature enthusiasts to preserve green areas and enhance tree cover.
The draft guidelines for ‘Conservation, Development and Management of Urban Greens’ by the MoEF highlights that there are many trees of historical importance in the cities which need to be identified and preserved, and tree tourism can be an important tool in this direction.
“The cities are facing number of environmental challenges, including dwindling of green cover. Urban population in India has increased from 17 per cent in 1951 to 31 per cent in 2011, and is expected to reach 55 per cent by 2050. Tree and forest cover are critical components of Urban and peri-urban environment, which moderate microclimate, enable ground water recharge, provide shade and conserve local biodiversity among others,” it said.
Calling for a detailed strategy to enhance a uniform well-distributed tree cover, the Ministry said trees and urban green spaces were often sacrificed for development of other infrastructure such as road widening, parking space, building flyovers etc.