The renowned Balipara Foundation, in collaboration with Conservation International, has recently revealed a project titled ‘The Great People’s Forest of the Eastern Himalayas’. This initiative’s sole purpose is to raise $1 billion to plant one billion trees and work profusely on restoring a vast one million hectares of land spanning across the Eastern Himalayas lying in the Northeast India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant and the current environment ministry secretary Leena Nandan were present at the launch of the mission which falls under the aegis of India’s G20 presidency theme: ‘One Earth, One family, One future’. The reigning President of Balipara Foundation , Ranjit Barthakur, said, “This historic effort will put the Eastern Himalayas, and the 1 billion people who rely directly on it, on the international conservation agenda. The Great People’s Forest is our movement to protect the region we call home. India’s G20 Presidency has encouraged us to design this ambitious, creative initiative and we hope to better the lives of the billion people who rely on the land and water of this beautiful region.”
The Eastern Himalayas is said to be an ecosystem of incomparable importance as it spans across a diverse set of landscapes. It caters to over one-twelfth of the planet’s biodiversity, this region is also home to two primary rivers, the Ganges and Brahmaputra. Keeping the significance in mind, annually, 100,000 hectares of tree cover disappear, therefore global awareness and action regarding this has become the need of the hour.