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Trees clean the air, provide shade, and reduce climate-changing emissions. And, says environmental neuroscientist Marc Berman, they also improve the health of people who live near them. “I’m very interested in how the physical environment affects the brain and behavior,” says Berman, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Chicago.
His study of the effect of urban trees, published in the journal Nature, merged tree data and health surveys from 31,000 residents of Toronto, Canada. “We found that controlling for income and age and education, neighborhoods that had more trees on the street … that was related to improved health in those neighborhoods.”
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Specifically, the study found that ten more street trees per city block were related to a one percent increase in people’s health, as self-reported in the surveys. Berman says people in those blocks suffered less from hypertension and obesity compared with other neighborhoods with fewer trees.
“And that one percent increase in health perception seems pretty modest, but at least in our study to get that equivalent increase with money, you’d have to give every household in that city block $10,000 and have them move to a neighborhood that is $10,000 wealthier or make people seven years younger.”
Just plant them
Sounds pretty good, but could what works in Toronto work elsewhere? Berman says yes, it would if you increase the number of trees on the street by ten. While the study doesn’t identify which mechanism triggers those benefits, it finds that initiatives to plant more trees can improve air quality, relieve stress, and promote physical activity — all contributing factors to overall better health. (VOA/JC)
Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator V.P. Singh Badnore on Monday virtually inaugurated the first-of-its-kind Museum of Trees — a unique environmental project here for the conservation of sacred trees of Sikhism after which many Sikh gurudwaras are named.
Extending Gurpurab greetings on the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the Governor said this was the most appropriate day and most appropriate manner of remembering Guru Nanak whose hymns are replete with references to nature, environment, trees, plants, and animal life.
The Governor warned that climate change is an immediate crisis for humanity and to meet this challenge people will have to come forward with initiatives like the Museum of Trees to mobilize public opinion.
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He complimented former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) D.S. Jaspal for patiently working for 10 years to clone 12 sacred trees and hoped work on the remaining trees will also be completed soon.
Tarlochan Singh, the former member of Parliament and Minorities Commission of India Chairman, thanked the Governor for supporting the cause of conservation of sacred trees of Sikhism.
He pointed out that Guru Nanak was the most widely traveled religious preacher in the world. The Guru interacted with common people in the open under the shadow of trees which is why most of the sacred trees are associated with Guru Nanak.
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He praised the government of India for supporting this project for the conservation of sacred trees since in many gurudwaras the sacred trees have been cut or have died due to improper care.
Creator and curator of the Museum of Trees, D.S. Jaspal thanked the Governor for supporting the project, which he said will be a source of attraction not only for Sikhs but for all nature lovers.
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Jaspal pointed out that many of the sacred trees also have botanical significance. For example, the Beri tree of Gurudwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodi is unique because it has very few spines.
Similarly, the leaves of the peepal tree in Gurdwara Pipli Sahib have a unique yellow pigmentation.
Jaspal said the trees are protected by an entirely in-house organic spray of garlic, chilies, and heeng mixed with water, which is why the trees are healthy and bearing rich fruit.
Over a period of 10 years, the museum has been successful in reproducing genetically true replicas of 12 sacred trees, including Dukh Bhanjani ber tree of Golden Temple; Ber tree of Gurudwara Ber Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi; Ber tree of Gurudwara Babe-di-Ber, Sialkot, Pakistan; and Peepal tree of Gurudwara Pipli Sahib, Amritsar.
The Museum of Trees has India’s most modern mist chamber facility and a glasshouse conservatory, with 16 air-conditioners, to preserve and propagate rare and endangered species that grow at high elevations. (IANS)
Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore will virtually inaugurate a unique environmental landmark in Chandigarh — the Museum of Trees – to commemorate the 551st birth anniversary celebrations of the first Sikh master, Guru Nanak Dev, on November 30.
Conceived and curated by former IAS officer and author DS Jaspal, the Museum of Trees nestled near the Chandigarh Railway Station comprises a sacred grove created out of genetic clones of 12 sacred trees associated with the Sikh religion.
The naming of sacred Sikh shrines after trees is unique to the religion. As many as 59 Sikh shrines are named after 19 such trees.
The project, first-of-its-kind in the world, has been funded by the Ministry of Culture and promoted by the Chandigarh Nature and Health Society, a registered NGO. It is India’s only outdoor walk-through museum where visitors can see replicas of different trees considered sacred by the Sikh community.
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Alongside each tree eight-foot-high panels have been set up, carrying a picture of the tree, along with a description of its botanical features as well as the association between it and the historical and religious shrine it is associated with.
To preserve and propagate the surviving sacred trees within various gurdwaras by reproducing true genotypes of the parent trees, the museum has successfully reproduced genetic replicas of 12 sacred trees — including at ‘Dukh Bhanjani’ ber (jujube) tree at the Golden Temple in Amritsar; the ‘ber’ tree at Gurdwara Ber Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi; and ‘ber’ tree at Gurdwara Babe-di-Ber, Sialkot, Pakistan. (IANS)
The Delhi High Court on Monday sought a response from the AAP government and others over a petition against an order for felling of 315 trees for redevelopment of Ayur Vigyan Nagar in the national capital.
A Division Bench of the high court presided over by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice over the petition filed by Abhishek Dutt through advocate Varun Chopra and slated the matter for further hearing on December 11.
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During the course of the hearing, Advocate Varun Chopra argued before the bench that about 315 trees were being cut or transplanted in order to develop Ayur Vigyan Nagar, which is near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and is the home to a large number of Corona warriors, besides patients.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic is underway and the air quality is already very poor, the taking away of these 315 trees is almost like taking away 315 lungs and ultimately deteriorating the air quality which is already severe,” said Chopra.
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He also said that there are various studies that suggest that transplantation of trees is not a very successful process and hence, the said order passed by the Delhi government shall stay immediately.
The plea sought quashing of the Order dated 14.09.2020 issued by Dy. Commissioner of Forests (South) for felling/transplantation of 315 trees for redevelopment of Ayur Vigyan Nagar.
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The said order has allowed large-scale destruction of the vegetation and tree cover of New Delhi for the purposes of Government redevelopment, wholly ignoring the air pollution and serious environmental concerns that affect the health of the citizens of the capital, the plea said.
“News reports on Transplanting of Trees show that the process is not a very effective or a successful one, especially in India. In fact, the rate of failure is too high. In the context of New Delhi and the surrounding areas, that failure can be irreparably damaging to the environment and to the inhabitants of the NCT of Delhi and around,” the plea said.
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“No amount of landscaping and tree planting can properly compensate for the loss of precious green cover. Even planting saplings for each tree which is felled is not enough considering the large size, the ecological impact of larger trees, and poor survival rate of saplings,” the plea added. (IANS)