Many countries in the world are trying to move to make a positive difference for our planet. Yes, in the past, we have exploited our planet enough. Now it’s time to give something back to it. Out of all the countries in the world, India is making quite a move towards a greener world. In general, India has an affinity for trees. If you ever go down the roads of India, you will be greeted with lush greenery on both sides. The country is quite environmentally-charged.
And now, the Indian government is trying to amp it up a little. The Central government is planning for a 1,400km long and 5km wide Green Belt. It will run from Gujarat to the Delhi-Haryana border. It is similar to the Great Green Wall of Africa, which runs almost from Senegal to Djibouti. This is being done to combat desertification and climate change.
The idea is still nascent but then, many ministeries are excited about this development. This can be a major move and if it does get approved, it can create a legacy. It might counter the effect of deforestation and land degradation.
According to analysts, this afforestation can restore the land degradation that took place along the Aravalli hill range and also curb the Eastward march of the Thar desert. The desert dust coming in from Pakistan and Western India can be stopped from entering other states too.
This was the agenda of India in the recent conference COP14 held in the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). However, India understands that this would require a financial power, which will require proper ministerial clearance. The Great Green Wall that Africa undertook a decade ago got almost mooted and is far from being a reality. This might be because many countries are taking part in it. India wishes to go solo and keep it a national priority. This will be part of the goal to restore about 26 million hectares of the degraded land by the year 2030.
The green belt is likely to cover the Aravalli region. If the plan is approved in the long run, farmers will be brought forward to make a change. They will be part of the afforestation project.
One of the key degraded zones in India is Aravalli and so, India wishes to restore it along with others. The 26 million hectares restoration target is keeping in mind the desertification and degradation of land that is taking place all over India. In 2016, ISRO brought out a report that shows over 50% of the area was degraded in Delhi, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, which means they are under a serious threat of desertification.
The plan to restore these areas and to develop a green belt is going to be an intensive task. But if they can do it, it will also mean that India will get a massive boost to meet the ‘green’ target that they have set. The plan is to bring sustainable farming and water resource management in those areas as well.
If India can take this major project on, then not only will we see a massive change in India but all over the globe too.
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