Sunday, November 23, 2008

Go green: Message to state, industry

Go green: Message to state, industry

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There’s hope yet for the city. It can fight pollution if the government and the corporates go green, says Suresh Heblikar of Eco Watch.

Speaking at a two day conference on the impact of the Indo Norwegian Environment Programme, in the city on Saturday, he said, “Bengaluru can still retain its environmental status provided the government and corporates join hands with Eco Watch in planting more trees, creating urban forestry, and environmental assets by converting 60 to 70 per cent of the parks in the city into clusters of tree biodiversity parks.” “If we start all this now in the next five years the pollution in the city would have come down, ecological balance would have been restored and the groundwater level would have improved,” he added. Dwelling on ecodevelopment through urban forestry, he empahsised the need to create environmental assets like Senaranya, a tree biodiversity park established over 161.88 hectares of fallow land belonging to the Army, ASC Centre (South), by INEP in association with Eco Watch.

Over 50,000 trees had been planted in the park with community participation, roping in students, NGOs, corporates and others. “It is known as a germplasm bank of native tree species and also as Jaiva Vaividya Vana due to its high genetic diversity. There are fruit, flowerng, medicinal and aesthetic tree species here. Two water bodies have been created using rain water harvesting techniques,” he said.

The park had enriched the soil in the region, the micro climate had improved in its surroundings and the water table had risen in the area. “It has also contributed to the improvement of urban wildlife. More than 35 species of butterfiles can be found here, besides several birds including cited kingfishers and cranes,” he added.

Mr Heblikar said Senaranya could be used as a model to improve breathing space and green cover in the city.

“It will not just help in creating a better micro climate but will sequester carbondioxide and serve as a source of oxygen,” he said. He suggested that around 350 species native trees typical to the south eastern dry zone be planted in the city to maintain its ecological balance.

The conference was organised by the Indo Norwegian Environment Programme in association with the department of forests, environment and ecology.

Over 33 schools were given INEP Best EcoClub awards on the occasion.


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