There is a relationship between forests and energy, and the challenge is to make the latter available to the people at affordable cost, a top environment ministry official said today.
“There is a relationship between forests and energy. We must look at ways to prevent cutting of forests. The challenge before us is to make energy available at affordable cost to the people. The government is paying full attention to this challenge,” Environment secretary Ajay Narayan Jha said.
He was speaking during the International Day of Forests celebrations at Asola Bhati sanctuary in Tuglakabad here.
International Day of Forests is celebrated on March 21 every year to focus on the role of forests in safeguarding the ecological security and livelihood of millions of people.
A nature trail was inaugurated on the occasion while a poster was also launched to mark the Day.
The theme of this year’s celebration – Forests and Energy – has been chosen by the United Nations to highlight the importance of wood energy in improving people’s lives, powering sustainable development and mitigating climate change.
Almost 300 million people in India depend on forests for their livelihood, a statement by the Environment Ministry said.
“It has been proved that trees in urban areas can cool the air by between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. Wood energy mitigates climate change and fosters sustainable development.
Globally, forests hold energy content approximately 10 times that of the world’s annual primary energy consumption,” it said.
The theme highlights the vital energy inherent in India’s forests, including the various cultural, ecological and livelihood benefits.