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Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology, Prelims

Why in news?

On World Environment Day, on June 2020 the government announced implementation of the Nagar van scheme to develop 200 Urban Forests across the country in next five years.

Success Story: Warje Urban Forest in Pune

  • The initiatives of people of Pune along with Forest Department and local body has converted 16.8 ha of a barren hill into green forests.
  • Warje Urban Forest project is now helping maintain ecological balance, serving both environmental and social needs.

Useful point: India has only 2.5 % of the world’s landmass, within which reside 16% of the worlds human population having less than 5% of fresh water sources. And yet, India has 8% of world’s biodiversity.

India also hosts 4 of the 35 global bio-diversity hotspots containing several endemic species.

What is a Nagar Van?

  • A Nagar Van is a forested area lying in vicinity of cities which is accessible to the city dwellers and is suitably managed.
  • These city forests provide wholesome natural environment for recreation, conservation education, biodiversity conservation and supported services like water and soil conservation, pollution abatement, reduction of heat islands effect of the city.

Nagar Van Scheme

  • The Nagar Van Scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC).
  • The aim of the scheme is to create/ develop at least one “City Forest” in each City having Municipal Corporation/ Class I Cities for providing wholesome healthy living environment, and contributing to growth of Smart, Clean, Green, Sustainable and Healthy Cities.

Other Objectives include:

  1. To create awareness on plants and biodiversity.
  2. Conservation education on important flora and fauna of the region including threat perception.
  3. Ecological rejuvenation of the cities
  4. In-situ Biodiversity conservation
  5. Making cities climate resilient
  6. Health benefits to citizens
February 2024