The government started a programme to plant two million saplings in the next four years to increase the country's forest cover to 30 per cent by 2030, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
In the policy manifesto of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, he pledged to increase the country's forest cover to 30 per cent by 2030.
The Minister made these remarks while addressing a function to mark the tree planting campaign at the Vidyalankara Pirivena in Pannipitiya recently . The Registrar of the Pannipitiya Vidyalankara Pirivena Ven. Kekunawala Vanaratana Thera also participated in this occasion..
“There are only a handful of trees in the world that produce oxygen 24 hours a day. The Bodhi tree in our country is the greatest of them all. The Bodhi tree is a 24-hour oxygen producing plant in our country. The service rendered by the Bodhi tree to the existence of life and the environment was confirmed by Gautama the Buddha 2500 years ago by his attributes to the Bodhi tree which helped him attain Enlightenment. “Humans need about 7-8 litres of oxygen per minute. The average daily requirement of oxygen is 550 litres. About 2.3 kilogrammes of oxygen is needed for one person to live per day. Our Maha Sangha has taken the lead whenever any crisis situation arises in our country. It is a blessing that they have come forward to protect the environment today. Climate and climate change in our country does not depend on the activities of our country. Conditions not only in the Asian region but also in the world affect us. Looking at the environmental damage being caused in the world, we have not yet destroyed the environment of our country. In some developed countries there is no way to breathe freely. The environment has been destroyed to such an extent,” the Minister said adding that the programme called 'Until We Breathe' was launched with the aim of increasing the country's forest cover to 30 per cent in the future.