In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Karnataka is set to get a green budget that will focus on protecting the ecology of the state. The announcement was made by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on the occasion of national forest martyrs' day on Saturday, September 11. The idea came at a time when the state, like other places in India, has experienced flood-like situations, landslides, deforestation, intense heatwaves, etc.
Bommai said that many forest officials have laid down their lives to protect the ecology and increase forest cover. He added that the state's forest cover was about 30-40 per cent 30 years ago, amounting to 43 lakh hectares, but has now reduced to 21.5 per cent.
Yearly Assessment Of The Loss Of Natural Resources
"I am giving a mandate to the forest and environment department to make a yearly assessment of the loss of our natural resources and the total deficit. I will introduce a provision to fill the ecological deficit in the next budget," Bommai said, as quoted by The Indian Express.
"In the last 20 years, deforestation has been on the rise and we need to educate the youth about the importance of forests and wildlife conservation. They need to be taught how to adopt a sustainable lifestyle based on needs," he added.
According to The Free Press Journal, the Chief Minister said that afforestation is not just planting trees but is an entire process of safeguarding natural resources. He pointed out that if the government doesn't take steps to stop ecological degradation now, it will amount to stealing from the future.
For the past few years, the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science has been persuading the state governments to look into the ecological losses and prepare a budget in this regard.