Himalayan Forest Institute Sensitises Ladakh Schools About Sustainable Cold Desert Environments

Leh: As part of an extension program, Himalayan Forest Research Institute (HFRI) Field Research Station, Leh conducted interactive sessions with schools in Ladhak creating awareness in the young minds about forests, rivers, glaciers along with other features of the natural environment.

The special programme was coordinated by the Shimla based Himalayan Forest Research Institute (HFRI). One interactive session was organised at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Saboo in Leh on 25th July, 2022. The interactive session was conducted as part of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) Prakriti program, a MoU for which was signed in October 2018.

Participants at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Saboo in Leh

The programme was conducted by Dr. Vaneet Jishtu, visiting Scientist from the Institute at Shimla. At the session Dr. Jishtu made a pictorial presentation on “Students Role Towards Environment Protection”, apprising the students about the status of the environment in the cold desert landscape of Ladakh. He emphasised that students of today are the future of the country, who need to be knowledgeable about the environment and have to devise ways and means to protect it.

Dr Vaneet Jisthu making a pictorial environmental presentation before the participants of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Saboo.

Dr. Jishtu asked the students to spend some time with their elders and learn how they for generations had used available resources sustainably and still kept the environment clean. He also presented some World Health Organisation (WHO) findings, which forecast that globally there would be more deaths from air pollution than what COVID has done during the pandemic.

A total of 71 students and some teachers participated in the programme. The principal of the school J.R Brightstone appreciated the ‘Prakriti’ initiative and was grateful to the team from the Himalayan Forest Research Institute for organizing the programme for the school children.

The Kendriya Vidyalaya, Choglamshar school participants

Earlier, on July 21st, a similar program was conducted at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Choglamshar in Leh where 75 students participated. Dr Jishtu made a pictorial presentation on ‘Right to Clean Environment & Social Responsibility, apprising the young minds about the sensitive mountain environments and how it impacts the lives of people and their livelihoods.

Principal Phuntsog Wangial lauded the efforts of HFRI and Dr Jisthu for the efforts made in sensitising the students about their social responsibility towards the natural environment and the rights that they hold for enjoying a clean environment.

The ICFRE supported Prakriti programme aims to promote awareness about forests and environment, and stimulate interest among students in maintaining a balanced environment. Besides, it also seeks to provide students with skills that reflect care and protection towards forests, environment and society.

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