India to achieve more than its committed INDC target: Javadekar

In the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions announced recently, India had set a target of creating an additional 2.5 to 3 billion (250 crore) tonnes of CO2 equivalent carbon sink.

New Delhi: India will achieve more green cover than the 250 crore tonne carbon sink as was committed in the INDC, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said Friday as he prepares to leave tomorrow for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

In the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions announced recently, India had set a target of creating an additional 2.5 to 3 billion (250 crore) tonnes of CO2 equivalent carbon sink, which is a natural or artificial reservoir with ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

"In the past 24 months, 37 crore tonnes of CO2 equivalent carbon sink was created. We will achieve more than our INDC target which is to create 250 crore tonnes of CO2 equivalent carbon sink," he said after releasing India State of Forest Report-2015, which estimated an increase of 21.34 per cent and 24.36 per cent in the forest and tree cover respectively.

The report showed an increase of 3,775 sqkm in the overall forest cover and 1,306 sqkm in the tree cover of the country as compared to 2013 assessment.

Javadekar, who will attend the Conference where a universal agreement on climate is expected to be achieved, said India's INDC target will be achieved by aggressive afforestation, use of alternative sources of fuels, effective protection mechanism and sustainable forest management.

According to the report, the present forest cover is estimated to be 7,01,673 sqkm, which is 21.34 per cent of the geographical area of the country.

While, the net increase in the forest cover is a result of expansion in very dense forest and open forest, the moderately dense forest has decreased by 3,371 sqkm as compared to the 2013 estimates.

The major states showing gain in forest cover include Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.