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Shillong:

Meghalaya is known for its lush green forest cover. With 80% of its area as forests, i.e. three times the Indian average, Meghalaya is unique but vulnerable.  Several species of plants and animals are endemic to Meghalaya forests.

However, in the past 15 years, the forest cover in Meghalaya has reduced from 69.06 per cent to 63.06 per cent. The average temperature rose 0.031?C every year over the last 32 years

Deforestation, urbanisation, mining and industrialisation are the major concerns faced by the state. “The increase in ferroalloy industries and the rampant mining of limestone and other minerals are major concerns for the state,” says TTC Marak, a retired forest officer.

But, this environment day, Meghalaya is set a world record. The state planted 1.5 million saplings, in an attempt to restore the lost forest cover. The programme was called “One Citizen, One tree.”

“I appeal to the citizens of #Meghalaya to join the campaign and be part of our mission to plant 1.5 million trees this #WorldEnvironmentDay. Our journey to create greener earth should continue beyond the celebration of World Environment Day,” tweeted Conrad Sangma, the current Chief Minister of Meghalaya.

Thanking the people, who joined the programme, Mr Sangma tweeted, “Congratulations to all officials and team members who made it possible to plant 1.5 million trees in one-day. This is a beginning and we should continue to plant trees. “

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