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Government Institutions Embark on Green Campus Initiative with Expert Guidance from SKUAST-K’s Faculty of Forestry

In a significant move towards environmental sustainability, the Government Higher Secondary School (GHSS) Gulab Bagh has initiated efforts to transform its campus into a green oasis. This initiative, spearheaded by the Division of Silviculture and Agroforestry, Faculty of Forestry at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir (SKUAST-K), aims to promote ecological awareness and enhance green cover within educational institutions.

The transformation project began in response to a formal request made by the principal of GHSS Gulab Bagh, detailed in communication No.BHSS/GB/946 dated June 3, 2024. The request, endorsed by the Registrar of SKUAST-K and the Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, led to an expert team of scientists, headed by the renowned “Green Man of SKUAST-K,” Dr. G.M. Bhat, visiting the school for comprehensive discussions with the faculty.

On June 7, 2024, an awareness camp was held, where stakeholders received on-the-spot technical guidance on pit preparation and herbal garden establishment. This camp laid the groundwork for a broader initiative encompassing an awareness and training program, followed by a large-scale plantation drive conducted today, June 10, 2024.

During the event, esteemed scientists from the Department of Silviculture and Agroforestry delivered lectures on various critical topics. Dr. G.M. Bhat emphasized the urgency of environmental protection, the pivotal role of trees in the current climate crisis, and strategies for land rehabilitation through multipurpose tree planting. He also highlighted the necessity of adhering to pollution control measures.

Dr. Megna Rashid, another key speaker, underscored the importance of developing region-specific agroforestry models as a sustainable solution to mitigate global warming.

The day’s activities culminated in a plantation drive, where hundreds of conifer and broad-leaved tree species were planted throughout the school premises. Additionally, a dedicated herbal garden was established, featuring more than a dozen medicinal herbs, including lavender, rosemary, inula, acorus, bergenia, peppermint, artemisia, valerian, and the unique ginkgo biloba, also known as the living fossil.

The principal of GHSS Gulab Bagh expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Head of the Department of Silviculture and Agroforestry and his team for their prompt and effective response. She praised the efforts of the scientists in conducting awareness camps and leading the plantation drive, and thanked them for providing the saplings free of cost, thus enabling the institution to progress towards a greener future.

This initiative not only fosters environmental stewardship among students but also serves as a model for other institutions aiming to adopt sustainable practices. With continued efforts and collaboration, the vision of a green campus at GHSS Gulab Bagh is well on its way to becoming a reality.

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