Guwahati: The Assam government has launched afforestation drives in different parts of the state with a focus on degraded land, forest and environment minister Parimal Suklabaidya said on Sunday.

Alongside the plantation drives, conservation measures are also being pursued with multi-pronged strategies.

Altogether 35,916 hectares area is being covered by the afforestation schemes under the Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC), Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and the State Owned Priority Development (SoPD) of Social Forestry.

“More than four crore seedlings have been distributed free of cost among the public against the target of 10 crore seedlings in mission mode under Pollution Free Assam,” an official statement quoted the minister as saying.

Under Phase II of APFBC, 12,500 hectares will be brought under plantation, besides 1,800 hectares plantation under CAMPA, it said.

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“Afforestation taken up under different schemes has yielded a very positive impact on the state’s green cover. As per the latest India State Forest Report, 2019 published by Forest Survey of India, Assam’s green cover has extended to 221.51 sq km, which is quite a significant achievement,” Suklabaidya said.

‘Sahitya Manishi Upabans’ have come up in 24 districts of the state with each Upaban showcasing indigenous floral biodiversity of around 1,000 plant species having medicinal values in an area of three hectares each.

Reconciliation of forest boundaries with the help of Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) and satellite imagery under CAMPA is also being undertaken, the statement added.

“It will be done in three phases starting with reconciling the forest boundaries of some of the divisions on a pilot basis,” the statement said, quoting an unnamed official.

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