The government at the Centre is planning an ambitious 1,400 km long and 5 km wide green belt from Gujarat to the Delhi-Haryana border, on the lines of the “Great Green Wall” which had been mulled for the Sahel region in Africa, from Dakar (Senegal) to Djibouti, to combat climate change and desertification, reports The Times of India.
The idea is at a planning stage and is being called a legacy programme and it will be India’s effort to deal with land degradation in Aravalli range through a massive afforestation exercise and stem the eastward march of the Thar Desert.
The green belt will begin at Porbandar and end at Panipat, restoring degraded land via afforestation along the Aravalli hill range that spans across Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi and thus provide a natural barrier for dust coming from the deserts in western India and Pakistan.
The idea of a ‘Green Wall’ itself as a preventive measure against desertification is almost a decade old, having first being proposed for Africa to protect against the expansion of the Sahara desert. That plan is still far from becoming reality due to hurdles in achieving multi-lateral cooperation.
India, however will likely see much quicker implementation considering the government’s commitment to meet an ambitious target of restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
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