Green cover will be over 30 per cent by 2012: Union Minister

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Coimbatore, Jun 16 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Forests and Wildlife S Regupathy today said the green cover in the country would be 30 per cent by the year 2012 as against the present 23.6 per cent.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said when the forest department was separated from the Agricultural Department in 1985, the green cover area was just 15 to 16 per cent. The department is now encouraging the private land owners to plant saplings to increase the green cover in the country.

Earlier, while delivering convocation address at the State Forest Service College here, he said India has rich forests due to the scientific management and sincere conservation efforts over the years. Indian culture has always glorified the co-existence of man with other forms of life.

Stating that during the recent decades, there has been an increased awareness on conservation of natural resources, he said the Centre is making all efforts to protect the existing flora and fauna of India and also to increase the forest cover.

He said the range forest officers, who have undergone training here are the backbone of the forest department and their job has become all the more challenging now, with the changing scenario of forest management in India.

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