In recent years, there has been a growing consensus that public engagement is necessary to bring any change, be it an environmental issue or social issue. Public engagement is particularly important in the Indian Subcontinent where climate change has emerged as major threat to humankind, as ecosystem, health and livelihood are impacted.
There is still a considerable lack of awareness of the interrelated nature of all human activities and the environment, due to inaccurate or insufficient information. Increased public awareness seems to be the most common and practical solution to protect earth from degradation by increasing knowledge, building capacities and providing skills. There is a need to increase public sensitivity to the environment and development problems and public involvement in coming up with solutions. This will foster a sense of personal environmental responsibility and greater motivation and commitment towards sustainable development.
The Indo-German Environment Partnership for Urban and Industrial Development is working for promoting sustainable development and improving the capacity of people to address environmental and developmental issues through its various projects. One of key public engagement programme of the cluster is a month long environment improvement drives. On the occasion of the World Environment Day, a month long environment improvement drive (5th June to 5th July, 2016) was launched in selected industrial cluster of Vapi from Gujarat and Delhi.
The aim of the drive was:
Various activities were carried out throughout the month such as awareness drives, cleanliness drive and plantation drive, besides developing a model Street for industrial estate, free sapling distribution etc. The drive was appreciated by the participants as one of its kind and first time ever in Vapi for generating mass awareness and participation.
Main highlights of the drive in Vapi, Gujarat are;
7,000 trees were planted on 5th June in single day. Additional 50,000 trees were planted during this one month long drive. Simultaneously, various groups of industries like Micro ink, UPL, Aarti Group and other industrialist initiated to plant trees in their factory area through Japanese Technique (Initiated by Shubhendu Sharma followed by R.K. Nair named as Forest Creators). The main advantage of this technique is efficient space management by planting more trees in small area, fast growth, and maximum rate of oxygen which leads to efficient micro- climate.