Friday, December 9, 2011

Municipal school kids, teachers to be mobilized for tree census.

AHMEDABAD: The tree count which was to be taken up jointly by the Forest Department and Botany Department of Gujarat University this year will now be carried out by students and teachers of Ahmedabad Municipal School Board.
Officials from the forest department said that Forest and Botany department officials have in a meeting concluded that there was shortage of experts to carry out the tree census.
For just a survey of the area of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation one would need around 4,000 odd people for a week. Forest Department and GU's Botany department representatives finally decided to take the support of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation at a recently-held meeting.
Jagdish Prasad, Chief Conservator of Forests, Ahmedabad said, "Since the task was a huge, the three agencies have decided to rope in Class VII and VIII students of Ahmedabad Municipal School Board. Teachers of the municipal board's schools will also be roped in. In areas where there are no municipal schools, students enrolled in the eco clubs of various schools will join the counting exercise. Students of the Botany departments of various city colleges will also participate."
"For easy identification of trees, the Botany department has been asked to produce a booklet detailing the various species of trees found in the city," Prasad said.
Forest officials said that the department had in 2004 carried out a tree count for rural Gujarat. Urban trees, however were left out due to issues regarding jurisdiction. The rural data revealed that Gujarat had 26.86 crore trees. As per the last tree census, Ahmedabad district had less then one tree per person while Gandhinagar had 10 trees per person.
Officials said this is the first time that the social forestry department has taken up this tree count in urban areas. This count will not be carried out using the global positioning system (GPS) but would be a physical count. Rajkot Municipal Corporation whose area is smaller than Ahmedabad has already completed its count and is tabulating the data.

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