Envoys from 34 countries plant trees at Delhi park to mark Earth Day

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New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Ambassadors, high commissioners, and diplomats from 34 countries gathered at a park here on Friday and planted tree saplings to mark the ‘International Mother Earth Day’ and to laud the commitment of 171 countries – all set to sign the landmark Paris Climate Agreement at the UN – to create an ‘Environment Democracy’.

“In the hope of we can all breath free air,” said British High Commissioner Dominic Asquith.

“May the environment continue to be in our conciseness and we act to improve it,” said Ravi Singh from World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) -India

School children and envoys of US, Russia, Britain, EU, Canada, Japan, China, Australia, Belgium, Israel, Netherlands, Portugal, Philippines, Surinam, Tunisia, Guatemala, Belarus, Mexico and other countries planted over 200 saplings at a park near Nehru Place in south Delhi.

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Officials from UNESCO, WWF, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) also marked the earth day.

“It’s a historic day. The signing of Climate Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties is the most important deal ever signed after the second world war,” said Aditya Pundir from The Climate Reality Project, an organisation founded by former US vice president and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, which organised the event.

On the ocassion, painting competitions were organised by the Delhi government and National History Museum. Hundreds of organisations have pledged to work with the Earth Day Network-India to plant 36 million trees over the next five years.

“This is a small yet strong appeal for tree plantation. This year’s theme for the earth day is ‘trees for earth’ and we had pledged with hundreds of groups and organisations across nation that they will plant tree by monsoon. This is the first step towards a clean and pure future,” said Ranjana Saikia from Earth Day Network.

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The first earth day was observed as an environmental movement across colleges and schools in the US on April 22, 1970. Now, it is marked across the world with volunteers urging people to plant trees, to go paperless, promote car pooling, buy organic food and in other ways.

This year, 171 countries have for the first time come together to sign and adopt the Paris Climate Agreement at the UN, New York, to create an ‘Environment Democracy’, in commemoration of the 46th ‘International Mother Earth Day’.

The Indian governmenta, also syncing perfectly with this year’s theme for Earth Day ‘Trees for Earth’, had pushed to release the CAMPA Bill (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) in parliament, that would see the release of $5.3 billion across the country to promote afforestation and regeneration activities.

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