The supporters held placards and banners for passers by, tied banners and signage on trees along the road and reached out to thousands who visit these malls over weekends. Similar launch events were also organized in Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Ramnagar, and Dehradun.
The Cities for Forests campaign focuses on raising awareness about the intrinsic link between forests and human well-being, with a primary focus on changing perception of youth all over the country. It encourages individuals to discover, visit, and document the forests that support their cities in innumerable ways, and share their findings on www.citiesforforests.in, an interactive platform to upload stories, pictures, presentations, and videos about individual observations of the city’s forests and green spaces.
A large number of supporters, with an aim to raise awareness on the city’s green spaces and urban forest cover, gathered at the Nelson Mandela Marg in Delhi. The location was ideal to kick start the campaign, as it is amongst the greenest areas in the city, and one that is increasingly becoming a symbol of new development with numerous malls coming up in the vicinity.
Introducing the campaign, Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India, said, “City dwellers often forget their inter-dependence on forests - fresh air, water, recreational activity, sources of wilderness and imagination. 'Cities for Forests', with its unique call to action, aims to build environment awareness amongst citizenry, to enlarge the support and understanding for the protection of India's forests and her natural heritage.”
The trees in the area were soon covered with banners and props, each carrying a message on the importance of green spaces in the ecology of human habitats.
Enthusiastic volunteers formed human chains holding placards and banners carrying conservation messages like ‘Save our city’s lungs’ while the others interacted with shoppers around the malls, urging them to take action towards saving our city’s forests.
The Cities for Forests campaign will make individuals, schools and institutions Forest Champions of their cities, and take forward the momentum that is built through this mobilisation. The first phase of the campaign culminates in October. WWF-India plans to organize events across various cities during the Wildlife Week, where some of the best findings shared by individuals or groups of that city will be presented to key decision makers, local politicians, experts and advisors of the city’s government, and environment journalists, to build positive political pressure towards the need to protect urban forests and reach out to those who can bring about a change.
WWF-India is one of the largest conservation organizations engaged in wildlife protection and environment preservation in the country, for over four decades now. As a part of the WWF-International network, the organisation has made its presence felt through a sustained effort towards both nature and wildlife conservation and reduction in humanity’s ecological footprint. With its extensive network of state offices, the organisation sensitises people through creating awareness, building capacity and offering enviro-legal support. A challenging, constructive, science-based organisation, WWF-India addresses issues like the survival of species, habitat conservation and climate change.
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WWF-India is one of the largest conservation organisation engaged in wildlife and nature conservation in the country.