Model Question and Answers for APSC | Highlight benefits of Urban Forest. Discuss the steps taken by the government to promote urban forestry in India.
Ans : According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), urban forests can be defined as networks or systems comprising all woodlands, groups of trees, and individual trees located in urban and peri-urban areas; including- forests, street trees, trees in parks and gardens, and trees in derelict corners.
Owing to hazards of unsustainable urbanisation, heat waves, urban heat island effect, and climate change, metropolises worldwide are creating urban forests. Seoul, Singapore and Bangkok have built green corridors that provide space for nature and wildlife while improving the lives of city dwellers.
Benefits of urban forests
1. Urban forests are the backbone of the green infrastructure and ameliorate a city’s environmental footprint
2. Urban forests provide cool ambient temperatures through evapotranspiration reducing the Heat island effect
3. Urban forest recharge groundwater and make cities behave like sponges thus helping in reducing chances of urban flood
4. Urban forests provide key ecosystem services, like filtering air and water, which are essential to healthy human communities in cities where air pollution and water management can pose public health risks
5. They bring down levels of ozone, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter; remove large quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; and release oxygen. They can play a role in storing carbon. One large tree can absorb 150 kg of carbon dioxide a year.
6. In addition to the economic value of the services trees provide, green infrastructure via urban forests also have an impact on property values.
7. Natural recreation, health, and well-being Pune’s Warje forest and Delhi’s Aravalli park offer good models for Urban forest growth.
Steps taken by the government:
1.Pledge to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 Billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional tree and forest cover.
2. National Afforestation Programme (NAP) scheme
3. National Mission for a Green India (GIM)