Preserve isles’ rich biodiversity for future generations: LG

68th Van Mahotsav celebrations conclude
Report by: 
Port Blair
31 Jul 2017

The month long celebration of the 68th Van Mahotsav here in the Isles organized by the Department of Environment & Forests, A&N Islands culminated with a prize distribution ceremony held at TGCE auditorium on Monday.    The Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi was the chief guest of the valedictory function while the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Mr Anindo Majumdar was the guest of honour. The PCCF (WL) and Chief Wild Life Warden, A&N Islands, Mr Tarun Coomer, APCCF (P&D), Mr D. M. Shukla, Senior Officers of the Administration and Central Government Organizations, parents, students, teachers and staff of Forest Department were present on the occasion.
In his address, the Lt. Governor stated that these Islands are a heaven of natural beauty having 94 percent of forest cover, as compared to other parts of the country. He said, the A&N Islands are number one in position as far as greeneries and forest cover is concerned.
Expressing happiness that the area of forests in these Islands has increased by 40 sq. kms, as per the report of the Forest Survey of India, the Lt. Governor said, this shows our commitment towards the preservation and protection of forests and lauded the Department of Environment and Forests for their concerted and continuous efforts towards conservation and protection of the Islands’ green cover. He urged the Department of Environment and Forests to ensure that the preservation and conservation of Isles’ flora and fauna is a continuous programme.
The Lt. Governor said, devotion towards trees is part of our culture and we cannot think of life without trees. Nature in all its splendor has been kind and bountiful towards human needs and we must realize the importance of trees and greeneries around us, he said.
Speaking about the impact of global warming, the Lt. Governor remarked that over exploitation of nature and its resources will lead to adverse reaction, hence the need for judicious uses of forest resources has to be kept in mind constantly. “Through conservation of the forests, we will be able to enjoy the greeneries around us and this will also enable us to mitigate the impact of global warming to a great extent”, he said urging everyone to strive towards preservation, expansion & development of the forests.
The Lt. Governor said the celebration of Van Mahotsav should not be limited only to the usual tree plantation ceremony, but it must also awaken in each of us, the desire to plant saplings or trees wholeheartedly. With such mentality, the country will never face the problem of depletion of forest covers, he added.
The Lt. Governor also appealed the students, teachers, Panchayati Raj Institutions and the general public to involve themselves in the protection and conservation of the environment and the rich biodiversity of the Isles by planting more and more trees. He stated that PRIs can play a vital role in their respective wards by spreading the message of conservation of  forests; and this can be a real achievement.
Speaking about the significance of the celebration of Van Mahotsav, the Lt. Governor expressed happiness that students are being made aware of the importance of Van Mahotsav extensively through various competitions and programmes, organized by the Department of Forests. However, he said, the general public should also be made part of such programmes, as this will benefit them immensely. He also expressed the desire that such functions should be organized in an open ground involving all sections of the society so that the message of Van Mahotsav reaches one and all.
          The Lt. Governor also distributed certificates and prizes to the winners of various competitions held during the month long celebration and congratulated them. The PCCF also presented mementoes and saplings to the Lt. Governor and the Chief Secretary on the occasion.
The Chief Secretary, Mr Anindo Majumdar said that the celebration of Van Mahotsav is not only for improving the green cover of the environment we live in, but it also calls for protection and caring of the beaches and various tourist spots of the Islands by ensuring that the serenity of the Islands are maintained. He also expressed happiness that this year the celebration of 68th Van Mahotsav has been a large scale event and the Department of Environment & Forests had organized various activities during the month long celebration by involving the students, who are our future. He said, with such activities, students will have access to a better, cleaner and greener future.
Lauding the Department of Environment and Forests, the Chief Secretary said, the A&N Islands have 94% of forest cover and this is due to the measures taken by the Department which deserves appreciation.
The PCCF, Mr Tarun Coomer highlighted the significance of Van Mahotsav. He said, the celebration of Van Mahotsav is more than planting saplings & trees as with this, over the years, people have acquired a sense of belonging and understanding the free benefits we get from individual trees we plant. He also called upon everyone to come forward in preserving and protecting the environment we live in by planting more and more trees.
Earlier, the CCF (Research & Working Plan), Dr Ravichandrean welcomed the gathering. A welcome song was presented by the students of TGCE. The DFO (Forest Publicity & Extension Division), Mr P. K. Paul proposed the vote of thanks.