The marginal one per cent rise in India’s forest and tree cover, now constitutes 24.39 per cent (although falling short of the 33 per cent target) of the total geographical area of the country. What is important, however, is to ensure that the right kind of trees are planted. There is no use of planting non-native and invasive trees like teak, eucalyptus etc and still claim to have increased “forest cover”, while the intention is to harvest and sell timber from them. Native trees like peepal, neem, banyan etc that are known for giving oxygen and purifying the atmosphere are the ones that ought to be planted. Sincere public participation is also essential.
C V Krishna Manoj Hyderabad
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