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India unveils draft of National Green Mission

India on Monday unveiled the draft of the ambitious National Green Mission, aiming to increase its forest cover by 10 million hectares by 2020 and enhance ecosystem services at an estimated cost of Rs 44,000 crore.



New Delhi: India on Monday unveiled the draft
of the ambitious National Green Mission, aiming to increase
its forest cover by 10 million hectares by 2020 and enhance
ecosystem services at an estimated cost of Rs 44,000 crore.

The Mission is one of the eight missions of the
National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), which was
unveiled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year,
committing to combat challenges of global warming caused by
Green House Gas emissions.

The draft of the mission has been prepared taking the
views of all stakeholders and will be finalised after a series
of public consultations from June 11 across the country, said
an official from the Environment Ministry which will implement
the programme.

The mission takes a holistic view of "greening" as it
will not be restricted to just forests and plantations as a
"carbon sink" to tackle climate change but lay emphasis on
protecting the community by restoration of eco-systems and
habitat diversity through development of grassland and
pastures.

On climate change front, it hopes that 10 million ha
of forests and other eco-systems would result in increased
carbon sequestration of 43 million tons CO2 annually in year
2020.

"This will neutralise an additional 1.5 per cent of
annual GHG emissions in 2020, taking GHG removal by the
country`s forests to 6.35 per cent," it notes.

In the last 10 years, the forest cover in the country
has increased by 3.31 million hectares, showing an average
0.46 per cent increase every year, as per Forest Survey Report
2007.

It aims to double the area to be taken up for
afforestation/eco-restoration in India in the next 10 years,
taking the total area to be afforested or eco-restored to 20
million ha.

"It means 10 million ha of additional forest/non
forest area to be treated by the Mission, in addition to the
10 million ha which is likely to be treated by Forest
Department and other agencies through other interventions," it
said.

On people`s participation, the document sees the `gram
sabhas` and the various committees set up by them, including
Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) and van panchayats,
village council playing a key role in the mission.

PTI

From Zee News

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