PM’s council approves Green India Mission

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NEW DELHI - The National Mission for a Green India, part of the country’s plans to fight the climate change, has been approved by the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change, the environment ministry said Wednesday.

The mission, one of the eight under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), projects an ambitious target of 10 million hectares of forest cover by 2020 at a cost of Rs.460 billion (Rs.46,000 crore/$10 billion).

The mission aims to reach an annual CO2 sequestration of 50 to 60 million tonnes by 2020 that will increase the share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions offset by India’s forest and tree cover to around 6 percent as compared to 4.5 percent in the absence of such an initiative.

The mission will also focus improving ecosystem services, including biodiversity, hydrological services and carbon sequestration, and aims to increase forest-based livelihood income for three million forest-dependent families.

According to the ministry, people-centric forestry is the core of mission as compliance with the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, has been made an essential element.

“As part of the conditions of the mission, it is proposed that no funds will be released to agencies until the act is complied with. Committees set-up by the gram sabha (village council) under FRA will be centrally engaged as part the institutional landscape for implementation of the mission,” said the ministry.

The mission will be implemented through an autonomous organisational structure reducing red-tape and rigidity, while ensuring accountability. The ministry will soon launch the process of setting up a Mission Secretariat as an autonomous society, and start preparatory work.

The mission also aims at monitoring additional parameters like ground cover, soil condition, erosion and infiltration, run-off, and ground water levels to develop water budgets as well as biomass monitoring indicators.

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