New Delhi: Taking inspiration from Africa’s ‘Great Green Wall’, India may soon get one of its own green belt soon! According to a report in The Times Of India, the government is planning to create a 1,400 km long and 5 km wide ‘great green belt’ from Gujarat to the Delhi-Haryana border, to combat climate change and desertification
As per the report, the idea of forming the green belt from Porbandar to Panipat will help in restoring degraded land through afforestation along with the Aravali hill range. The Aravali range is identified as one of the key degraded zones to be taken up for greening under India’s target to restore 26 million hectares of its land.
Also, the belt will act as a barrier for dust coming from the deserts in western India and Pakistan.
The belt includes states and cities like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi. Reportedly, an official told a media person that the idea of creating a huge green belt was parts of the agenda of the recently held conference (COP14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in India. However, the formal nod to the plan is still awaited.
As per a report by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2016, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi were among states and Union Territories where more than 50 percent of the land was degraded and those under threat of desertification. India currently has 96.4 million hectares of degraded land which is 29.3 per cent of the country’s total geographical area.
The idea, which is still in its infancy, has generated a lot of excitement amid officials in various ministries, who reportedly believe that the project if approved, will turn out to be a legacy for the country.
About the ‘Great Green Wall of Africa’
The ‘Great Green Wall of Africa‘ is a determined effort to plant a stretch of trees across the continent, covering the whole Sahel-Saharan region from Senegal (West Africa) to Ethiopia (East Africa). The project is aimed at covering 8,000 km with natural wonder covering the entire width of Africa. The work, though is only 15% complete.
Endorsed in 2007 by the African Union, it is deemed to become one of the world’s largest living structure, if completed successfully.