Chandigarh, March 21: Today, celebrating the International Day of Forests, Department of Forests & Wildlife in collaboration with Yuvsatta-NGO organized a ‘Jungle-trek’ for 100 students of Dev Samaj College of Education and Government Home Science College, Chandigarh. Sh. Debendra Dalai, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forests & Director, Department of Environment flagged-off the initiative at Nepli Reserve Forest area.

Extending his warm wishes on International Day of Forests Sh. Debendra Dalai said that forests are home to around 80% of the terrestrial biodiversity of the world. After Oceans, Forests are the world’s largest storehouse of carbon – thus known as carbon-sinks. They contribute to climate change mitigation, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing them in wood, leaves and soil and producing oxygen for people to breathe. They have an important role in the Global Water Cycle, as well.

Mr. Dalai further added that realizing these facts, greening has been made an integral part of Urban Planning in UT Chandigarh. The city with over 50% of forest and tree cover, two Wildlife Sanctuaries, green belt on the periphery as well as criss-crossing the length and breadth of the city speaks volume of visionary approach of the planners and active implementation and execution of the plan by various stakeholders.

And for the participating students whose colleges recently opened in offline mode, participating in this over 5 kms. trek was both fun and a learning experience to know more about the forests and trees. The programme ended with a pledge by all participants that ‘Let’s protect this easily renewable resource with a sustainable management of forests.’

Senior environmental activists like Mr. Kulbhshan Kanwar, Mrs. Sarabjeet Kaur and Mr. Pramod Sharma, guided the participants during the trekking at Nepli Reserve Forests.

A green-quiz on the importance of forests and trees for mankind was also organized on the occasion and twelve winners of the same were also honoured on the occasion by the Chief Guest Sh. Debendra Dalai.