AHMEDABAD: The first ever tree count taken up by the urban bodies will lead to the formation of a development plan for improving environment of the cities in the state.
The state government officials said that a tree survey to estimate tree population in the rural areas, outside the forests of Gujarat, was done in 2003 and 2009, but no such assessment was carried out for the urban parts of the state. Hence in 2011, the social forestry department decided to conduct the first tree counting in all eight municipal corporations, urban authorities areas and 159 municipalities.
The main objective of the count was to assess carbon store and also scope of carbon sequestration in the urban areas, to develop plan for improving environment of the cities and towns, to estimate the total number of trees and status of tree cover in the urban areas, to create a baseline information to monitor trend of tree cover in different cities and to find out the preferences of tree species in urban areas.
The officials said that to complete the tree census, the social forestry department has joined hands with urban department. The first planning for tree census in urban areas of Gujarat was done in late 2010 and enumeration was completed in 2011. The verification of counting was done in late 2011 and also in January 2012.
In Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation area, the tree counting was carried out in cantonment and other areas by the forest department, in schools and institutions it was conducted by teachers and students of the botany department of Gujarat University and municipal school board and in city gardens it was undertaken by park warden department of the municipal corporation. In the census, trees of each species were counted in 11 girth classes, ranging from 10 to over 300 cm.