Manipur CM Ibobi stresses on maintaining State’s forests cover and better protection

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Imphal, July 5: Taking into consideration the importance of forest in the north eastern state of Manipur and maintaining the State’s forests cover, the government is committed to improving forests in the State as better protection. Also, more sustainable use of forest resources will remain one of the main environment and social challenges of the coming century, asserted Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.

While speaking at the 66th Van Mahotsav 2015 celebration held under the theme ‘My Tree, My Future’, Ibobi stressed on the importance of maintaining and improving the forests cover of the State by taking a collective responsibility.The function was organized by Manipur Forest Department at Maharaja Gambhir Singh Samadhi, Langthabal on Saturday.The CM led in planting of tree saplings at the campus of the venue.

Speaking as chief guest, the CM admitted that management of this huge resource is not an easy task given that there are lives dependent on it for their basic necessities.

The State also needs to develop economically and in infrastructure. Urban forestry including road side and avenue plantation besides plantation in residential and non residential complexes especially in Imphal and other major town areas of the State is to be strongly taken up and encouraged to make the environment better, he said.

Noting that the State needs to act responsibly in mitigating the issue of climate change which is becoming a global issue with its serious consequences through massive tree plantation efforts, Ibobi acknowledged that the Forest department has been working for creating sustainable livelihoods through medicinal plants which have vast uses.

Climatic change will also cause increased frequency of extreme events such as floods and droughts. These in turn will impact food security problems and water security. In Manipur itself changing patterns in rainfall and temperature are increasingly becoming evident, he maintained.

Quoting the Forest Reports 2013, he informed that the forest cover of Manipur is 16,990 sq km which is 76.10 percent of the total geographical area of the State as compared to the all India average of 21 percent, news agency The Imphal Times reported.

The State as a whole stands to gain economically and ecologically by virtue of its forest, he added.

Besides MLA of Langthabal Constituency Karam Shyam Singh and Chief Secretary PC Lawmkunga who graced the occasion as guest of honour and special guest respectively, the function was also attended by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Bala Prasad during which he highlighted various new initiatives being taken up Forest Department as regards to sustainable livelihood through medicinal plants, feasibility study for Sustainable Forest Development in the three watersheds of Singda, Imphal and Thoubal River and Green India Mission.

Stating that the Van Mahotsava festival which is celebrated during the monsoon in the first week of July intended to create an enthusiasm in the popular mind for the preservation of forest and planting of trees, the CM said that the festival reminds us as citizens of the country to the fundamental duties to protect and improve the natural environment.

He also urged the people of the State to take an active role in planting more trees in order to maintain better environment for healthy living.

Minister of Forest and Environment Th Devendro who presided over the occasion underlined the importance of conserving forests of the State and urged the people to actively participate in shouldering the responsibility to plant and protect the present forests.

He also talked of the benefits that forests provide to human society as a whole.

As part of the celebration, CM Ibobi distributed seedlings to school students and public as a symbolic gesture. A book was also released during the function.

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