Emphasising the need to create an enabling environment through small steps such as planting more trees, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has inaugurated a two-day conference on “Sustainable landscapes and forest ecosystems: Theory to Practice”. The Environment Minister urged the gathering to deliberate and come out with out-of-the-box ideas and solutions on increasing the forest cover much beyond the stipulated 33 per cent. Some of the objectives of the conference include – exploring issues and opportunities for ecosystem approach to land management in India; discussing how the approaches and tools developed under the Forest-PLUS programme can be used to improve forest management in India and to document and disseminate that learning with a wider group. Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched the “Wood is Good” campaign on the occasion. Wood is a climate-friendly material, as it is a renewable resource, having zero carbon footprint.
The Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-Plus) is a joint programme by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to strengthen capacity for REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) implementation in India. The programme brings together experts from India and the United States to develop technologies, tools and methods of forest management to meet the technical challenges of managing forests for the health of ecosystem, carbon stocks, biodiversity and livelihood.