From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : National Afforestation Programme , Green India Mission
Mains level : India's INDCs
- India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030, is unlikely to materialize.
State of Afforestation in India
- The current rate of afforestation — 35 million tonnes per year carbon dioxide equivalent — is lower than what is needed to achieve the target.
- At this rate, there will be a shortfall from the target pledged.
- Various afforestation programmes like the Green India Mission (GIM) and National Afforestation Programme (NAP) are under-funded, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on S&T.
- There had been a decline in the progress area brought under afforestation as part of the NAP — from 80,583 hectares in 2013-14 to just 35,986 hectares in 2015-16.
- The report also found that there had been no recent studies to know the efficacy of these programmes.
What needs to be done?
- The Ministry should undertake a study to assess the impact of National Afforestation Programme and Green India Mission in improving the quality of degraded forests.
- This should be done so that their actual impact on the forest cover is known and further strategies in this regard could be drawn accordingly.
- To increase afforestation and reduce land degradation, there was a need to improve the quality of the forest under the categories ‘Open Forests’ and ‘Shrubs’.
Green India Mission (GIM)
- National Mission for a Green India is one of the eight Missions outlined under India’s action plan for addressing the challenge of climate change -the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
- GIM, launched in February 2014, is aimed at protecting, restoring and enhancing India’s diminishing forest cover and responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures.
- The mission has the broad objective of both increasing the forest and tree cover by 5 million ha, as well as increasing the quality of the existing forest and tree cover in another 5 million ha of forest/ non forest lands in 10 years.
- The Mission proposes a holistic view of greening and focuses not on carbon sequestration targets alone, but also, on multiple ecosystem services, especially, biodiversity, water, biomass etc.
- It will also increase options of forest based livelihood of households living in the fringe of those landscapes where the Mission is implemented.
National Afforestation Programme (NAP)
- National Afforestation Programme (NAP) of the MoEFCC is a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Afforestation and tree plantation and eco-restoration of degraded forests and adjoining areas in the country.
- The Scheme is being implemented through a decentralized mechanism of State Forest Development Agency (SFDA) at State level, Forest Development Agency (FDA) at Forest Division level and Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) at Village levels.