Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana, has been named as a 2020 Tree City of the world by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
In the list of 51 cities from 63 countries across the world, Hyderabad is the only city in India to have been recognized as a tree city for its commitment towards growing and maintaining the urban forest.
Other cities in the list were from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, etc.
President of the Arbor Day Foundation, Dan Lambe, after congratulating the city said that with this recognition Hyderabad would enter a network of like-minded cities that realizes the significance of going green and building healthy and resilient cities.
Telangana's Municipal Administration & Urban Development Department, which had been at the forefront to execute the 'Haritha Haram' program since its formation, had applied for this recognition on January 31.
Haritha Haram is a state government program calling for large-scale plantations across the state to increase the green cover.
To be eligible under the category of 'Tree City', the city needs to confirm to five standards: establish responsibility (a written statement by city leaders delegating responsibility for the care of trees), set the rules (a law or an official policy that governs the management of forests and trees), know what you have (an updated inventory or assessment of the local tree resource), allocate the resources (annual budget dedicated for routine implementation of tree management plan) and celebrate achievements (the yearly celebration of trees to raise awareness).
Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao tweeted, "Happy to share that Arbor Day Foundation (which works with FAO of UN) has recognized Hyderabad as a Tree city of the world. The only Indian city to be included in this list… This is an acknowledgement of our efforts to improve green cover as part of Haritha Haram program."