05 Jul 2024|Noida | Amity University, Noida

Week-long activities to celebrate “Van Mahotsav”, held at Amity

Amity School of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (ASNRSD), Amity University Uttar Pradesh, conducted a Workshop on “Van Mahotsav: Afforestation for Increasing Urban Resilience to Climate Change”, as part of the week-long activities to celebrate “Van Mahotsav”, from 1 to 7 July 2024.


Addressing the gathering, Chief Guest, Mr. Bivash Ranjan, IFS (Retd.), Former Additional Director General of Forest, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Govt. of India, New Delhi, averred, “Rising population has led to an increase in pollution level which is impacting our environment adversely. Many diseases are being caused by pollution, specially lung diseases and in Delhi alone many deaths are caused by pollution every year. Cape Town is a waterless city today and we do not want such a situation in our country, though, already some parts of our country are going through a major water crisis. Therefore, climate change is a matter of huge concern, and preventive measures must be taken to mitigate the problem immediately.”


Sharing his views on the occasion, Mr. Vidya B. Kumar, IFS (Retd.), Former PCCF (HOFF) & CWLW, Punjab, stated, “Urban Planning has led to afforestation and reduced the green cover of these areas. An urban heat island occurs when a city experiences much warmer temperatures than nearby rural areas, which is the case with most of the cities today. Chandigarh is an excellent example of great urban planning where greenery and biodiversity has been maintained throughout the city, yet the city has all the modern amenities. Therefore, planning as well as implementation of environment-friendly measures is the need of the hour. Also, instead of exotic plants, local trees must be planted since they are more beneficial for the environment.”  

 Deliberating upon the topic, “Van Mahotsav Afforestation for increasing Urban Resilience to Climate Change”, Dr. D.K. Tyagi, IFS (Retd.), Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Maharashtra, said, “Temperature, rainfall and wind are the three main elements of climate change. Increase in temperature leads to global warming, flood and drought are caused by variation in rainfall and cyclones and typhoons are caused by deviation in the winds. Greenhouse gases and nitrous oxide emissions have been rising since the start of industrial era and majority of these emissions come from fertilized soil and animal waste. Therefore, tree plantation is extremely crucial to reduce the effect of these emissions. Also, it is not only important to plant trees but equally important to nurture the trees planted by us otherwise they will die and not serve the purpose.”


Speaking on the occasion, Dr. D.K. Bandopadhyay, Mentor Amity Institute of Environmental Sciences, stated, “We have recently seen an example of climate change in the form of extreme heatwave in northern India, which proves that our environment is suffering from the impact of pollution and deforestation. Therefore, the time has come to think seriously about the disastrous effects of climate change on our planet and find solutions to combat them.”


Welcoming the guests, Dr. S.P Singh, Director, Amity School of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (ASNRSD), said, “Van Mahotsav was officially started in 1950 by the then Minister of Food and Agriculture, Shri 

Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi. It is celebrated across the country to raise awareness about tree plantation, forest conservation and encourage the citizens of India to plant more trees. Each and every individual must pledge to plant at least one sapling during Van Mahotsav Week in order to safeguard the environment.”


During the week-long activities, a Webinar on “Greening Our Future: Afforestation Strategies for Urban Heat Mitigation”, Essay Writing Competition on “Planting trees to combat global warming", Slogan Competition on “Plant Trees, for a Secure Tomorrow”, Digital/Handmade Poster Competition on “Ek Ped Maa ke Naam”, were also held, wherein students participated, and the winners were awarded with certificates and prizes. In addition, ceremonial tree plantations by the HOIs, faculty members, and students were also done at various locations in Amity University Noida campus.