Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photos and quotes

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles."
- Anne Frank

"There is no spot of ground, however arid, bare or ugly,
that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an
impression of beauty and delight."
- Gertrude Jekyll

"Soil is a resource, a living, breathing entity that, if treated properly, will maintain itself.It's our lifeline for survival. When it has finally been depleted, the human population will disappear. .... Project you imagination into the soil below you next time you go into the garden. Think with compassion of the life that exists there. Think, the drama,the sexuality, the harvesting, the work that carries on ceaselessly. Think about the meaning of being a steward for the earth."
- Marjorie Harris, In the Garden, 1995

"If we do not permit the Earth to produce beauty and joy,it will in the end not produce food either." Joseph Wood Krutch
"Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring."
- William Alexander, A Father's Book, 1997.

"God owns heaven, but He craves the earth."
- Anne Sexton

"The little things? The little moments? They aren't little."
- John Zabat-Zinn

"Remain true to the earth."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"Do the best that you can in the place where you are, and be kind."
- Scott Nearing

Speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee.

All photographs by me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

BZU trees falling like autumn leaves

Somedays ago, it was on the news that the Bahauddin Zakariya University campus is being exposed to environmental degradation with the large-scale tree cutting which has caused concern among the teachers and the student.

Criticising the BZU administration’s move, a number of students demand an immediate ban on cutting of trees on the university campus to save them from the effects of harsh weather. The practice, is being carried out for the last two years.

The university administration has cut down trees which were even more than 30 years old on the pretext of removing eucalyptus trees and introducing local varieties to avoid “a lot of problems”.

Director State Management and In-charge Arboriculture Dr Altaf Dasti said eucalyptus trees were eradicated from the campus on the direction of the Punjab government as the eucalyptus reduces the underground water level and is not useful compared to most indigenous trees.

“Birds do not build nests in the eucalyptus as it is a straight tree and they do not feel secure under it and, thus, do not allow other indigenous trees to grow,” he said.

The felling of hundreds of trees over two years worried the teachers and the students who said the administration should stop planting eucalyptus rather than cutting a large number of trees at a time when there was no replacement.
"The campus is giving an ugly look without trees"

Trees absorb heat and carbon dioxide and play a crucial role in climate regulation. Besides oxygen, they release moisture that returns to the earth in the form of rain. It was being observed that mass cutting of trees in the university had led to higher temperatures since last year and it also leads to less rain.

The trees were being chopped off in the name of the construction of two new hostels, one each for boys and girls.
Students says,

“Tree-felling is absolutely not necessary to build hostels as there is enough space to construct such facilities.”

“It is outrageous that the university which boasts of being environment-friendly is actually chopping the trees off,”

“We condemn cutting of trees. We are planning to protest against the massive killing of trees and will ensure that the practice is stopped forthwith,”

Academic Staff Association said, the eucalyptus trees should be removed, but cutting them in such a way was not a right decision. He said the place of hostels could be changed.

Hundreds of trees worth millions had been cut down and they were not auctioned properly. The record of trees planted in the university has gone missing.

But according to the forest department procedure, numbers can be put only on those trees that are planted at roadsides and the administration has the record of only those trees.

The university on the other hand, denied cutting of trees other than eucalyptus, and said the hostels were being constructed at the place earmarked in the university’s master plan.

Although I am against the plantation of eucalyptus trees but the trees shouldn't be chopped off from the university campus like that way.


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