Govt expansion of forests outside forest area: Ashwini Kumar Choubey
Tree Plantation/Afforestation is a cross-sectoral and multi-agency activity taken up by various Departments, NGOs, Civil Society, Corporate bodies etc. under various Central and State Plan/Non Plan Schemes or from other resources.
Afforestation is done both in forest and outside forest areas. Saplings for plantation both in forest areas and outside forest areas are raised from various nurseries established in different locations in the States with the funding sources from various schemes implemented in the States.
Nurseries for producing quality planting material are established by different State forest departments and such material is also made available for expansion of forests outside designated forest areas. States are regularly advised to raise good quality planting material.
For restoration and conservation of ecology, the Government is implementing various Centrally Sponsored Umbrella schemes namely National Mission for a Green India, Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats, Conservation of Natural Resources & Ecosystems, and National River Conservation Programme.
The funds collected under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), as compensatory levies from states inter-alia, is also used in plantation activity including compensatory afforestation by States/UTs.
The schemes primarily supports ecological restoration through afforestation in and outside forest areas, forest landscape restoration, habitat improvement, soil and water conservation measures, protection etc.
Expansion of forest and tree cover is an inherent principle of National Forest Policy, 1988, which envisages a national goal to have a minimum of one-third of the total land area of the country under forest and tree cover.
Various afforestation related schemes implemented by MoEF&CC and other ministries aim at increasing and improving forest and tree cover. State Governments also implement various schemes for restoration of degraded forest areas.
MoEF&CC provides funds for conservation, development and promotion of forests in various States under its three major schemes namely, National Afforestation Programme (NAP), Green India Mission (GIM) and Forest Fire Protection & Management Scheme (FFPM). NAP has been merged with GIM and an amount of Rs.289.37 crores has been allocated for the current year for GIM whereas Rs.44.19 crores has been allocated for FFPM during the current year.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.