HYDERABAD: The South Korean model should be followed to implement the state government’s flagship programme, ‘Haritha Haram’, forest minister Jogu Ramanna has said.
The minister, who visited South Korea in 2014, was impressed by their efforts to improve forest cover. He said, “South Korea has strict laws to protect wildlife and nature. We should also impose such laws to protect our forests.”
He was addressing the forest officials and members of recently launched ‘Telangana State Biodiversity Board’ here on Friday at a function organised to mark International Day for Biological Diversity - 2015. The minister, who hails from Adilabad district which has the highest forest cover in the state, said Telangana lost a huge amount of forest cover in the past few years. The state government will increase the forest cover from the present 24 per cent to 33 per cent in the next three years with Haritha Haram, he said.
According to global standards, at least 30 percent of forest cover is considered to be safe for environment. But the state government is aiming to exceed the normal standards of forest cover by planting over 230 crore saplings across the state, the minister said.
He also sought participation of public to make Haritha Haram a successful programme. The forest officials have already began supplying saplings to villages where village committees were formed to execute the programme, he explained.
According to the forest officials, so far 800 village committees were formed for the programme. Rajeshwar Tiwari, principal secretary, forest and environment, science and technology, the government plans to supply around 40,000 saplings to every grama panchayat and around 40 lakh saplings to every district in the state.
The forest minister also unveiled the logo of State Biodiversity Board and launched its new website on the occasion. “For any information of biodiversity protection programmes, one can visit our new website, www.tsbiodiversity.org,” Dr C Suvarna, member-secretary, biodiversity board, said.