Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc.

Government unveils draft national forest policy


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: National Forest Policy 2018, National Community Forest Management (CFM) Mission, National Board of Forestry (NBF)

Mains level: Policies and programs for forest management and conservation

National Forest Policy

  1. India’s environment ministry has unveiled a draft of the new National Forest Policy
  2. National Forest Policy will be an overarching policy for forest management, with the aim of bringing a minimum of one-third of India’s total geographical area under forest or tree cover
  3. The first National Forest Policy in independent India took effect in 1952, with the second edition in 1988

India’s forest cover

  1. At present, India’s forest and tree cover is estimated to be about 24.39% of the country’s total geographical area

Proposals in NFP 2018

  1. It proposes to restrict schemes and projects which interfere with forests that cover steep slopes, catchments of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, geologically unstable terrain and such other ecologically sensitive areas
  2. It also suggests setting up of two national-level bodies—National Community Forest Management (CFM) Mission and National Board of Forestry (NBF)—for better management of the country’s forests
  3. NBF needs to be headed by the central minister in charge of forests
  4. The draft calls for state boards of forestry headed by state ministers in charge of forests to be established for ensuring inter-sectoral convergence, simplification of procedures, conflict resolution, among other things

Maintenance of forests and green tax

  1. The latest draft of National Forest Policy has omitted any reference to a green tax or a national stream revival programme
  2. It continues to speak about private participation in forest management
  3. Public-private participation models will be developed for undertaking afforestation and reforestation activities in degraded forest areas and forest areas available with forest development corporations and outside forests
  4. It continues with the target of having 33% of India’s geographical area under forest and tree cover
  5. In the hills and mountainous regions, the aim will be to maintain two-thirds of the area under forest and tree cover
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