Category: Environment

Category: Environment

Agriculture ministry ready with new scheme to promote natural farming; to seek cabinet nod soon

NEW DELHI: The Agriculture Ministry is ready with a new central scheme to promote Natural Farming in the country with an estimated outlay of Rs 2,500 crore, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

The proposed new scheme on natural farming will soon be placed before the Cabinet for approval, the official added.

The new scheme has been designed months after Prime Minister stressed the need to keep looking at alternatives for existing fertiliser and pesticide-based farming while addressing a national conclave on natural farming in Gujarat in December last year.

Modi had also said natural farming offers much better products with no side effects.

“After several rounds of consultations with stakeholders, a draft scheme on natural farming has been framed in order to promote natural farming with a systematic approach without disturbing the existing systems of farming,” the government official told PTI.

The proposed scheme aims to adopt a complementary and cluster approach, to begin with, and will focus on intensive handholding of farmers practising natural farming, marketing of the produce and providing extension services, among other activities, the official said.

The objective of the scheme is not the conversion of chemical farming but promoting natural farming in areas where chemical farming has not reached yet. For instance, chemical farming is not much practised in dryland areas, the official said.

It may be noted that the government in the Union Budget 2022 has announced the promotion of chemical-free natural farming throughout the country, starting with fields within a 5-km corridor along the Ganga river. read more

source : – Time Of India

The Power of One Tree – The Very Air We Breathe

The second in a series of blogs honoring the United Nation’s 2015 International Day of Forests

On Saturday, March 21, the U.S. Forest Service will celebrate the United Nation’s International Day of Forests . With such an important worldwide recognition of all forests do for us humans, the Forest Service would like folks to ask themselves: Do I really know how much trees contribute to my daily life?

Or, in another words, what is the power of one tree?

Just as we humans are comprised of many parts functioning together allowing us to do wondrous things, the anatomy of a tree is just as wondrous, empowering them with super hero qualities.

What am I talking about?  A tree has the ability to provide an essential of life for all living things on our planet – oxygen, and the power to remove harmful gases like carbon dioxide making the air we breathe healthier.

Here is how it works:

To keep it simple a tree is comprised of its leaves, stems, trunk and its roots.  When you look at a tree, note that about five percent of the tree is comprised of its leaves, 15 percent its stems, 60 percent goes into its trunk and 20 percent is devoted to its roots.

Here is the super hero part. Through a process called photosynthesis, leaves pull in carbon dioxide and water and use the energy of the sun to convert this into chemical compounds such as sugars that feed the tree.  But as a by-product of that chemical reaction oxygen is produced and released by the tree.  It is proposed that one large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to four people.

Trees also store carbon dioxide in their fibers helping to clean the air and reduce the negative effects that this CO2 could have had on our environment. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, in one year a mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen in exchange.

So next time you take a deep breath of air give credit to a tree or hug a tree in thanks for what it gives us – the very air we breathe. read more

source : – USDA

UP to plant 25 crore trees next year

Uttar Pradesh is likely to use the multi-storey plantation technique to successfully raise 25 crore trees next year. Since planting 25 crore trees is a massive work, the state’s focus is on using techniques that would plant the maximum possible number of trees on the available land.

Japan’s Miyabaki is what the forest department has already zeroed in on. It has trees planted very close and forming dense canopies. The technique could be of much use in cities where space is less. Similarly, multi-storey plantation technique also uses lesser space .

Trees’ height and requirement of sunlight are the deciding factors for spacing. Trees are planted very close and those growing up to 40 feet or more may form the first layer. Comparatively, shorter ones would be planted next and the ones that grow like shrubs and bushes may form the third layer. “It would cut down the requirement of land. At the same time, help grows a variety of trees on the same piece of land,” said sources in the forest department. Trees that demand more sunlight may be planted in the front row and others in the rows behind. Since the techniques are the tested one, the success rate is almost assured.

Six saplings per tree to be planted: Maharashtra

Though according to law, three saplings must be planted for every tree cut for a project or otherwise, state authorities have said that an exception would be made for Aarey and six saplings per tree would be planted. Also, said an official, 60% of the trees at the site of the proposed Metro-II cars shed are non-native and exotic, which can be replaced by native trees during the replantation drive.
“It is possible to replace the removed trees by replenishing an adjoining area with native species. The area was used to cultivate para grass by cattle shed operators through lease arrangements; therefore, there will be minimal disturbance to ecology,” said a senior official. “Of 30 hectares required, five hectares will continue to be green. Aarey has 4.8 lakh trees, of which just over 2,700 are going to be affected, which is only 0.6%.”

Threatened species hit hard by Australia’s bushfires

Wildlife experts worry that more than a billion plants have perished in the  wave of bushfires that have ravaged eastern and southern Australia for months.

SYDNEY: Australia’s bushfires have burned more than half the known habitat of 100 threatened plants and animals, including 32 critically endangered species, the government said Monday (Jan 20).

Twenty-eight people died in the blazes, which have swept through an area larger than Portugal.

Officials say it will take weeks to assess the exact toll as many fire grounds remain too dangerous to inspect.

But the government’s Department of the Environment and Energy on Monday issued a preliminary list of threatened species of plants, animals and insects which have seen more than 10 per cent of their known habitat affected.

More than 80 per cent of the known or likely habitats of 49 species has fallen within fire zones, while another 65 species have seen 50 to 80 per cent of their distribution areas affected.

“Some species are more vulnerable to fire than others and some areas were more severely burnt than others, so further analysis will be needed before we can fully assess the impact of the fires on the ground,” she said.

The threatened species in the path of the fires included 272 plant, 16 mammal, 14 frog, nine bird, seven reptile, four insect, four fish and one spider species, the department said.

Of the 32 critically endangered species impacted by the fires, most were plants though they also included frogs, turtles and three types of bird.

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