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COP28 Dubai: Bihar to Showcase Afforestation Efforts Against Climate Change on December 2

The Bihar government's Department of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change will showcase its sustainable practices at the India Pavilion in Dubai, emphasizing the state's commitment to environmental stewardship.

Shivangi Rai
The world stands united. (Photo: Twitter/COP29 UAE)
The world stands united. (Photo: Twitter/COP29 UAE)

Officials from Bihar are set to showcase a range of afforestation initiatives that could serve as a blueprint in the battle against climate change as the world comes together for the 28th Conference of Parties (COP) in Dubai on Thursday.

The Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (DoEFCC) of the Bihar government will present a comprehensive overview of its sustainable practices at the India Pavilion, underscoring the state's dedication to environmental stewardship.

COP is an annual gathering of countries that are signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), focused on measuring progress, negotiating multilateral responses, limiting greenhouse gas emissions, and combating global warming. This year's conference, hosted at Expo City, Dubai, will bring together representatives from 198 signatory countries.

A delegation led by senior officials from the Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, including Secretary Bandana Preyashi, Director (Ecology) Surendra Singh, and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Ashutosh, will present key afforestation initiatives on December 2, 2023. The Bihar team will leave for Dubai on Friday.

The highlighted initiatives include the Hariyali Mission (Green Mission), Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali Mission, Agriculture Roadmap, and Green Budget. These efforts focus on indigenous plants, active involvement of the JEEVIKA Self-Help Group of Women in plantation and nursery raising, large-scale agroforestry on farmers' land, and integrating afforestation activities with soil moisture conservation measures to facilitate forest regeneration.

Secretary Bandana Preyashi emphasized Bihar's success in afforestation, stating, "Under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's leadership, Bihar has become a role model in climate crisis management through afforestation.​

The state's green cover has increased from 9.9% in 2019 to 14.75% in 2021, with a total of 381.008 million plantations made since the launch of the Hariyali Mission in 2012-13. The total carbon sequestration is 56.88 million tonnes as per the India State of Forest Report, 2021."

She highlighted the positive impacts, such as increased water availability in forest fringe areas, improved fertility in natural forests, and positive changes in the livelihoods of farmers engaged in agroforestry. Additionally, she noted the positive effects on skill development and income generation for women associated with JEEVIKA groups in nursery management.

In a strategic partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Bihar government, through the Bihar State Pollution Control Board, has collaborated on the project titled "Climate Resilient & Low Carbon Development Strategy for Bihar." This project aims to build climate resilience and make Bihar net-zero by 2070, aligning with India's global target. The strategy, developed by a consortium of internationally renowned organizations, includes climate impact scenarios, vulnerability assessments, and capacity building for government departments.

Piyush Tripathi, Manager - Communication, Climate, WRI India, emphasized that Bihar's unique position allows it to shape its low-carbon development pathway and contribute to a broader global movement towards climate-resilient and sustainable development.

Bihar's Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali mission, which focuses on water conservation and afforestation, has previously gained attention from the United Nations.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar outlined Bihar's commitment to global efforts to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050 during a high-level virtual roundtable on Climate Ambition in September 2020.

Thus, Bihar's afforestation initiatives are making significant strides, not only enhancing the state's green cover but also contributing to global climate resilience and sustainability goals. The efforts showcase a model that could inspire other regions in the fight against climate change.

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