Bengaluru: After taking unconventional and unique steps like banning garlands at public functions and guard of honour, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has turned to the environment by declaring that he will come up with a ‘green budget’ to make up for ecological losses every year in the state.
This is for the first time that the state will implement the idea of a green budget at a time when the state, like many other places, witnessed unprecedented floods, landslips, heat waves, coastal erosion and unseasonal rains.
Speaking at a function, he said he is willing to take a step towards mitigating the disastrous effects of these ecological disturbances, triggered by “ill-conceived projects and policies”.
“The forest department in the State should start assessing the total green loss every year so that budgetary allocation can be made. This is the first time that such a provision will be made. It’s frightening to know that ecological degradation of the last two decades is equivalent to what occurred over the last 2,000 years,” he said during the National Forest Martyrs’ Day event here.
“We hope this will help recover 50-60 per cent of the loss and ensure a sustainable life for the next generation. The green cover in the State stands at 43 lakh hectares (21.5 per cent), which is lower than the national average of 33 per cent. It should be increased,” he added.
“Afforestation means not just planting saplings but involves a holistic approach to safeguard natural resources. If we don’t take measures to stop ecological degradation, it amounts to stealing from the future,” he remarked.
For the past few years, the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science has been urging governments to assess ecological losses and make a budget.
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