Washington, Jun 23 (PTI): A US-based Sikh organisation on Wednesday announced plans to plant 450 forests in Amritsar in the next five years to mark the sacred city’s 450th anniversary in 2027.
EcoSikh will be launching a five-year campaign on June 27, the 445th Amritsar Foundation Day, to tackle the grave environmental crisis the city faces. The campaign titled ‘Eco Amritsar 450’ will engage the civil society, educational institutions, diaspora community, religious and the governmental bodies, a media release said.
In a statement, the EcoSikh said that in recent years, the city has suffered from degrading air quality and depleting groundwater resources. There is also a severe lack of systematic waste management and infrastructure to make it sustainable.
“Amritsar has over 1,00,000 visitors and pilgrims coming to the city on a daily basis and the impact can be seen in the surrounding environment, from the strain on water and food resources to the extra energy used and the additional waste and litter created. It is critical that we take measures to conserve natural resources and plant forests to stop the environmental degradation,” said Dr Rajwant Singh, global president of EcoSikh.
EcoSikh India president Supreet Kaur said the green cover of the Amritsar city has shrunk significantly in recent years and many trees have been cut in recent times without being replaced. “Planting forests will also help the city to fight the devastating impact of climate change.” In the last 38 months, EcoSikh has planted over 400 forests as a part of its target to plant one million trees celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. It has also planted a few forests in Amritsar.
Trees planted via Miyawaki methodology in these forests are of native species and they attract biodiversity and are shown to improve the ecology of the area including lifting the water table, it said.
In the past, from 2012- 2017, EcoSikh led a campaign Eco Amritsar to create awareness about the environmental challenges facing the city. It had lobbied SGPC to make the Darbar Sahib langar go organic.
EcoSikh was founded in 2009 in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program. Recently EcoSikh was represented at the Vatican summit called by the Pope and at Glasgow COP26. It has been invited by the White House, United Nations and is working with the World Economic Forum. PTI LKJ RCJ RCJ
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