Hyderabad has the tag of a ‘Tree City’. It has been picked as one among the ‘Tree Cities of the World’ by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Organization.
Hyderabad is the only tree city in the country. And, the only one to have been chosen for this acknowledgement. Of course, this can be credited to the dedication and commitment to develop and keep up metropolitan ranger service. The city was evaluated based on the five standards: ‘Establish Responsibility’, ‘Set the Rules’, ‘Know What You Have’, ‘Allocate the Resources’, and ‘Celebrate the Achievements’ are what has been followed.
Celebrating this recognition, municipal administration and urban development minister K.T. Rama Rao, in a tweet, said this latest recognition to Hyderabad is an “acknowledgement of our efforts to improve green cover, as part of Haritha Haram programme.”
Congratulating Hyderabad on earning the 2020 ‘Tree Cities of the World’ recognition, Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe said, “Your city (Hyderabad) is part of an important global network leading the way in urban and community forestry”. Hyderabad won the tag alongside 120 cities from 63 countries, which have earned this status in the past two years. Lambe further said, “Now, more than ever, trees and forests are a vital component of healthy, liveable, and sustainable cities and towns around the globe. Hyderabad’s commitment to effective urban forest management is helping to ensure a better future for its residents.”
Telangana’s Municipal Administration & Urban Development Department had applied for this recognition on January 31. The department has been in the forefront and executing the Haritha Haram programme since inception. Apart from that, in identified pockets, urban forest blocks are also being developed.
While conversing with environment NGOs in Hyderabad aim to become a ‘tree city’ was witnessed. Dhruvansh of My Earth My Responsibility added, “We as an NGO started with a vision to go green, and save the world by planting a tree. We’re proud that we could also contribute to this title. Hyderabad has been constantly working towards achieving this title by demonstrating leadership in management of its urban trees. And, is serving as part of the solution to many of the global issues we face today. This recognition is a testament to its sustained and institutional efforts. These include to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees; development of urban and peri-urban forestry actions; projects, and strategic planning; and commitment to building a healthy city now and for the future.”
Well, on the other side from the Green Media (environmental newspaper) by CMS Envis Centre on Media and Environmental Studies, we realize how Hyderabad has been titled as ‘Green City’. As a lot of policies and deforestation occur across the city. “The rate of urbanisation witnessed by Hyderabad has negatively impacted the vegetation and lakes within the core urban area. Due to lateral expansion in the area under the municipal administration, a lot of forest area will now come under the Greater Hyderabad limits.”
However, a recent study conducted by Greenleap, under the ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, Hyderabad has been ranked the third greenest city in the country after Delhi and Bengaluru.
The study also says that the city is almost close to the international standards of greenery which is 33 per cent and is one of the forerunners in the list. The recently concluded United Nations Convention on Biodiversity brought out one significant addition to Hyderabad’s credentials – the Biodiversity Index.
In 2015, Hyderabad Government came up with Haritha Haram flagship programme to improve the green cover in the state. With a lot of investment and planning along with NGOs and localities working towards attaining this target, Hyderabad not just worked towards its sustainable development but also achieved the green tag. India has increasingly been working for the development in the environment field and participating in global change programmes to plan and work towards environmental growth. Cities like Delhi and Bengaluru have already been in the top list of Nation’s Biodiversity Index.