To tackle the challenges posed by desertification, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan today asked people to become environment protectors and plant more trees to increase the area under forest cover. On "United Nations' World Day to Combat Desertification", he said that desertification can be tackled effectively with the active participation of local people at all levels. Desertification is the process by which fertile land becomes a desert, typically due to drought, deforestation or inappropriate agriculture. "People of Haryana and the nation should become a large force of 'Paryavaran Rakshaks' (environment protectors) to fight the challenges posed by desertification, global warming and climate change," the Minister said inaugurating 'Swarna Jayanti Nature Camp. He also launched nature awareness and Aravalli conservation campaign in Bhondsi, near Gurugram in Haryana on the occasion. He asserted that modern science and technology and environment can come together to protect the nature. Highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's role in formation of the International Solar Alliance at the Conference of Parties at Paris in 2015, the Minister said the government was firmly committed to implement policies on solar energy. The Minister urged the people to work with renewed vigour for afforestation as a means to combat desertification. He also said that the picturesque Aravalli range is venerable, not just for the people of Haryana, but the entire nation, and that the people should work with resolve and dedication to make Aravallis more beautiful. "The central government will extend all possible support to any scheme formulated to realise the vision of enhancing the beauty of the Aravalli range," he said. Speaking on the occasion, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal said that climate change is having an adverse impact and also adding to desertification of land. He stressed that afforestation can act as a bulwark to stop the process of desertification of land. The Chief Minister announced that the forest around Bhondsi area has been renamed as 'Chandrashekhar Smriti Van' in the memory of former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar. A report prepared by Wildlife Institute of Dehradun titled 'Mapping Aravallis' on the state of Aravallis was also was released on the occasion. A short film on the conservation of 'Gouraiya' (house sparrow) was also screened. Harsh Vardhan and Khattar also rode a part of the distance at the venue, on bicycles to spread the message of environment protection and good health.
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