Aligarh: “Saving the environment is saving life and the human race cannot survive if it pays no heed to the growing environmental challenges threatening the very ecosystem”, said Professor Tariq Mansoor, Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University while delivering presidential remarks at an International Webtalk on “Ecosystem Restoration”, organized by the Department of Civil Engineering, Z H College of Engineering and Technology, AMU, marking the World Environment Day.
Stressing the need for launching awareness drives for environmental protection, Prof Mansoor appreciated the voluntary services of Dr Rajendra Singh, the Waterman of India and recipient of the Stockholm Water Prize. He said India needed many Rajendra Singh to work for the environmental conservation in different parts of the country.
The Vice-Chancellor also discussed the possibility of introducing a PG Diploma in Environmental Science.
In his address, Dr Rajendra Singh highlighted issues of water conservation, protection of biodiversity and introduction of environmental programmes in universities so that a wider mass awareness could be created people could understand the importance of saving nature from unmindful onslaught.
Prof Ashok Kumar, University of Toledo USA, discussed the impact of climate change on biodiversity. He stressed the need for protecting it from the after-effects of global warming.
Dr M Salahuddin, former Director, Ministry of Environment and Forest, New Delhi highlighted the rules and regulations pertaining to environmental safety and discussed the policies and their implementation for the protection of the biodiversity.
Prof Afifullah Khan, Department of Wildlife Sciences, AMU discussed the consequences of armed conflicts in different parts of the world with regard to the environmental deterioration.
Prof Kannan, Annamalai University spoke about the mangroves and ways for their protection.
Earlier, welcoming the guest speakers, Prof Abdul Baqi (Chairperson, Department of Civil Engineering) spoke on the achievements of the department, highlighting the academic activities.
A large number of participants from the USA, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and other parts of the country attended the webtalk.
Mr Arshad Hussain (Associate Professor) conducted the programme while Prof Izharul Haq Farooqi (Programme Coordinator) proposed a vote of thanks.
Later, to mark World Environment Day, a tree plantation drive was launched at Dr Z A Dental College. Faculty members and staff of the college planted trees while Professor RK Tewari (Principal) urged the people to spread awareness about plantation and importance of trees in human life. He said the Covid pandemic has reinforced the importance of planting trees which are the largest source of oxygen. He said trees give us everything – food, energy and oxygen, etc., and need protection from brutal hands. He said we should take a pledge to plant at least five trees every year to protect our environment.
A land development exercise was undertaken at the begum Azizun Nisa Hall where a plantation drive is planned in collaboration with the AMU Women’s Club and Land and Garden department of the university.
Prof Subuhi Khan, Provost of the hall informed that the land has been marked for a large scale plantation drive and pits are getting prepared through “Sharamdan” for this purpose in consultation with Dr Hameeda Tariq, Patron, AMU Women’s Club. She said that a large number of trees of medicinal value like Neem, Arjun, Sahjan, Gulmohar, etc, and trees like Imli and Jangal Jalebi will be planted in coming monsoon season.
Professor Subuhi Khan informed that during the lockdown period, more than 1000 trees, herbs, shrub plants have already been planted inside the Hall premises including fruits bearing and medicinal trees. A Herbal Garden and a Kitchen Garden have also been developed in the Hall, she added.
Prof Khan said that the upcoming plantation will be carried out with the help of Professor Zaki Anwar Siddiqui (Member Incharge, Land and Gardens) under the guidance of Professor Shujauddin (Former Member Incharge, Land and Gardens).
National Service Scheme (NSS) Unit also organised an online programme to mark the World Environment Day with the participation of a large number of student volunteers, Programme Officers and staff. Dr Arshad Husain (Programme Coordinator, NSS) highlighted the importance of ecosystem restoration by conserving various components of the ecosystem.