In a bid to protect green cover, the Delhi government on Monday decided to officially recognise 16 trees across the city as its "natural heritage".

The decision was taken by Tourism and Culture Minister Kapil Mishra, who holds the interim charge of the Environment Ministry in the absence of Imran Hussain.

"The native trees of Delhi like ‘jamun’, ‘pilkhan’, ‘shahtoot’, ‘kadamb’ etc. are getting lost. The ones which survive, and have served an increasingly urbanising Delhi for 100-200 years, deserve protection from us," said Mishra.

"Since ages, monuments are recognized as the historical heritage of the city, but now the Delhi Government will, officially, recognise trees as the natural heritage," an official statement said, adding that a list of 16 trees belonging to the native species of the Aravali Range and NCR will soon be notified as "protected".

Most of these trees lie in the south and New Delhi areas.

They include the banyan tree at Bhikajikama Place, the mango tree at Lodhi Garden, the arjuna and ashoka trees at Raj Ghat Memorial, salvadora tree by the Qutub Mosque near the minar and the banyan tree near India Gate.

The trees will be adorned with descriptive sign boards informing people of the ecological and botanical value of those trees. The signboards will also tell historical stories surrounding the tree and warn people against damaging the tree, the statement added.