Owing to proper conservation and protection of forest areas, Sikkim continues to be India’s greenest state.
Recent satellite data shows Sikkim to be the greenest state in the country with a forest cover of 47.3 percent, as compared to the national average of 21 percent.
It is the only state in the country whose forest area has increased in the last two decades by over three percent.
This has been made possible by implementation of several measures like the Sikkim Green Mission, Ten Minutes to Earth and Smriti Vans, which have also helped increase the flora and fauna significantly.
The Sikkim Green Mission was launched by him in 2006. The services of state government departments, NGOs, environmentalists, women organizations and eco clubs were used to achieve the target of a Green Sikkim.
so far, around 45 lakh indigenous trees, shrubs, herbs, climbers, creepers, conifers and green foliages,have been planted.
The “Ten Minutes to Earth” mission was launched in the year 2009. Under this mission, 6,10,694 saplings were planted throughout the state in ten minutes, creating a new world plantation record.This greenery has helped in the sequestration of 1400 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. Now, every year, on June 25, ten minutes are dedicated to a mass plantation drive.
The state government provides free seedlings through distribution booths set up at every forest check post and other prime locations.
Around 15 lakh saplings of various species have been planted under the programme during the last five years.
This year, the state government organized a Paryavaran Mahotsav between June 15 and June 30, during which 2.66 lakh saplings of various species were planted.
The state government plans to bring an additional 1000 hectares of land under forest cover during the 12th Five Year Plan. It has spent around Rs 10 crores on the green mission under which 45 lakh indigenous trees have been planted.
Home to several endangered species of plants and animals, Sikkim has now become a role model for successful implementation of environment protection measures.