New Delhi: The environment ministry Friday started public consultations on the National Mission for a Green India, which is part of the country`s plan to fight climate change.
The mission, one of the eight under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, aims at increasing the capacity of India`s forests to absorb green house gases to 6.35 percent of the country`s total emissions by 2020.
"The first public consultation was held at Guwahati Friday and the views of people and NGOs regarding the draft were collected. The consultation process will continue for a month before the final draft is finalised," said an environment ministry official.
The second public consultation will be held at Vishakhapatnam June 16. Subsequent consultations will be held at Pune, Dehradun, Bhopal, Jaipur and Mysore before the mission is finalised.
The first draft of the Mission, released May 24, projects an ambitious target of 20 million hectares of forest by 2020, at a cost of Rs.44,000 crore (Rs.400 billion).
"Recognising that climate change phenomena will seriously affect and alter the distribution, type and quality of natural resources of the country and the associated livelihood of the people, the mission aims at addressing climate change by enhancing carbon sinks, adaptation of vulnerable species and forest dependant local communities in the face of climatic variability," the draft mission said.
This will be done through increasing and restoring the forest cover all over the country. It also aims at monitoring additional parameters like ground cover, soil condition, erosion and infiltration, run-off, ground water levels to develop water budgets as well as biomass monitoring indicators.