The Meghalaya government has initiated a ‘One Citizen One Tree’ campaign to protect the environment of the Northeast state. To be formally launched on the World Environment Day on June 5, the campaign aims to replenish the forest cover of the state.

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“The campaign aims at people’s involvement in planting more trees. All districts in the state will be covered in the mass plantation drive wherein indigenous plants raised by the community across the state will be provided to citizens who want to participate in the campaign,” a government statement said.

Various activities have been planned which includes planting of 1 million trees in 306 spring sheds located across the state by the Soil & Water Conservation department under the Rejuvenation and Climate Proofing of Spring-sheds for Livelihood, Water and Food Security in Meghalaya funded by the Union Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change through NABARD.

The government statement added that 46 blocks will take part in the campaign with the target of 10 villages per block. “Each village will plant 1000 trees bringing it to a total of 4,60,000 trees. All planting material will be locally sourced either from community-run nursery or from village forests,” the statement said.

Another prioritized area of the initiative is to plant trees in the vulnerable catchment areas of Umiew Catchment which forms a part of Greater Shillong Water Supply and Ganol Catchment which also forms a part of the Greater Tura Water Supply. The campaign will mobilize 20 villages each from both catchment areas. Citizens from 20 localities each from Shillong and Tura will also make their way to these villages on World Environment Day to participate in the planting activities.

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Avenue trees preferably flowering at different seasons of the year will also be planted along National Highways like Shillong-Nongstoin with the participation of PWD and NHAI. Villagers along the identified stretches have been mobilized to ensure active community participation.

The initiative will also mobilize schools and eco-clubs to be part of the campaign with an aim to plant trees in at least 100 schools per district.

A social media campaign centred around Meghalaya One Citizen One Tree has been launched wherein citizens can register to participate in the mass plantation targeting 1.5 million trees by clicking on the registration form provided on social media platforms. The citizens will be provided with planting material/saplings at district and block levels. Plans to incentivize surviving trees after 2 years of planting is also being given importance in the campaign.

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