Aizawl, Jun 13 (UNI) The Mizos, who earlier used to practice the slash-and-burn cultivation since times immemorial, have now realised the importance of planting trees, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said here today.
Speaking on the occasion of the Green Mizoram Day, Mr Zoramthanga regretted that the traditional slash-and-burn cultivation had resulted in large-scale deforestation.
''However, Mizos have realised the importance of planting trees.
If we continue to plant more and more trees each year, we can preserve our God-gifted green forests and save us from the global warming,'' he said.
Mr Zoramthanga asserted that aforestation could help Mizos in earning a lot of money through the Carbon Credit System.
''Green forests and natural beauty is more attractive to the tourists than great buildings and monuments,'' he added.
According to officials, Mizoram is the greenest state in India despite the large-scale deforestation owing to the jhum cultivation.
With 88.34 per cent of Mizoram's area covered with forests, against the national average of 33 per cent, the state has the largest forest reserve in India,'' state Environment and Forest Minister R Lalthangliana said.
Of the 88.63 per cent forest area, as much as 58.72 per cent is open forests, he added.
Started in 1999, the Green Mizoram programme has helped a lot in maintaining Mizoram's greenery.
Over one lakh trees are planted on each Green Mizoram Day.
Besides planting trees, the Green Mizoram Committee also encourages farmers to prevent forest fires during the jhum burning season by offering them cash awards.
The Environment and Forest Minister urged the people to plant trees not only on the Green Day, but also on the following week, keeping in mind the alarming global warming.
Compared to the past 10 years, Mizoram's climate has become unbearably hot during the dry season with the mercury rising to as high as 34 degrees Celsius.
Meteorologists have observed that the rainfall had also decreased considerably decreased and become irregular over the past 10 years.
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