Kolkata: In a move that will help educate people about the significance of going green in the wake of climate change, a West Bengal suburb has probably become India’s first municipality to assign identity cards to trees, an official said.
In Konnagar, a town in the Hooghly district, as many as 28 species of trees were mapped for their ability to sequester carbon dioxide.
Following this, around 3,000 trees belonging to these species were issued ID cards that display the common name, scientific name, the geographical location and the amount of carbon dioxide they can absorb.
“The identity cards are hung on the trees. This way the children will develop an understanding about the importance of each variety. We will extend this to as many trees as possible,” said Konnangar municipality chairman Bappaditya Chatterjee.
Scientist Abhijit Mitra is leading the project which will be extended to map other species. Some of the common species in the area are ‘neem’, ‘krishnachuda’ and ‘peepal’, said Chatterjee.
Chatterjee claimed this is the first such venture in India and informed a database is being created on these trees which will be uploaded online soon.
A day of worldwide protests against climate change is underway that organizers predict will draw more than one million participants, the largest-ever expected demonstration decrying the man-made causes of a warming planet.
Friday’s protests began across Asia, where hundreds of thousands of students and others took to the streets calling for action against climate change ahead of a United Nations summit on the issue. The protests later spread to Africa and Europe, with huge crowds filling the streets.
In Australia alone, more than 300,000 children and adults rallied with the backing of some local authorities, schools and businesses. School Strike 4 Climate in Australia said the throngs of protestors represented the largest climate protest in the country’s history. Warmer weather patterns have taken a toll on Australia, sparking drought, flooding, more intense brushfires and the whitening of the Great Barrier Reef.
Smaller protests occurred across Asia, from the Philippines to Hong Kong and India.
Rallies are also underway in the United States, where organizers say more than 800 events have been planned, including several high-profile demonstrations in New York. More than 1 million students in some 1,800 New York City public schools have been allowed to skip school in order to participate.
In Africa, protests were held in Nairobi, Kenya and in the South African cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Experts say Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change and the least equipped to deal with the phenomenon.
Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg helped inspire the protests, staging weekly demonstrations for the past year calling on world leaders to bolster efforts to combat climate change. Friday’s Global Climate Strike is the third of several worldwide climate rallies organized by students and led by the 16-year-old Thunberg.
Thunberg is scheduled to speak at an emergency U.N. climate change summit on Monday, when Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to urge world leaders to exceed their commitments to the 2015 Paris climate accord.