New campaign to green Delhi, NCR

New Delhi, July 6 (Calcutta Tube) The Coimbatore-based NGO Isha Foundation and the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) will plant 100,000 saplings in the capital in a week as part of a new green project launched by the environment wing of the Planning Commission.

The campaign, ‘Initiative for Greening Delhi NCR’ launched Monday, aims to spread awareness about protecting the environment. The drive is also underway in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, a spokesperson for the Isha Foundation said.

The United Nations has earmarked 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity.

According to UN statistics, India occupies ‘only 2.4 percent of the world land area, but its contribution to the world biodiversity is eight percent of the total number of species’.

India has 10 distinct biodiversity zones covering varying terrains, rainfall patterns and climatic conditions.

The spokesperson of the Isha Foundation said: ‘The urgent need to increase the green cover in Delhi and in the neighbouring areas galvanized a core group of Isha volunteers in forming a steering committee.’

The committee is coordinating with the state governments and local bodies to help the environment wing of the Planning Commission realise its objective.

The campaign was inaugurated at Nehru Park in the capital with the planting of saplings by the members of the Planning Commission and NDMC chairman Parimal Rai.

Isha Foundation, led by seer Jaggi Vasudev and the recipient of Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar Award 2008, is providing technical guidance and volunteers in Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon, where the trees are being planted.

The campaign has been inspired by the success of Project GreenHands, a program by the Foundation to plant trees in Tamil Nadu.

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