The Ministry in the last few years has taken several initiatives which includes massive tree plantation, promoting urban forestry through Nagar Van Scheme, Landscape based Catchment treatment of 13 major rivers, LiDAR based survey of degraded forest areas for soil moisture conservation projects and launch of National Transit Portal.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said Finance Commission has increased the forest weightage to 10 per cent from earlier seven per cent and added 80 per cent of the CAMPA funds should be used by states for forest preservation and rest of the 20% can be utilised for capacity building.
Union Minister asserted that with the Compensatory Afforestation Fund available with states, water and fodder augmentation projects will have to be taken up to make forests self sufficient and prevent Human animal conflict. Union environment minister also called on farmers in all states to grow trees on their land which can be sold when they are ready.
Union Minister asked all states to come up with an outline for Project Dolphin within a fortnight. The project will involve long-term conservation of Gangetic dolphins and dolphins along the coasts.
The meeting was conducted to ensure participation and coordination of all the States in taking forward various initiatives of central Govt. and meet National and International Goals. States have shown enthusiasm and expressed cooperation in this endeavour.
To conserve and protect forests Ministry has earlier launched Nagar Van Scheme for creation of 200 Nagar Van for which grants will be given for fencing and soil moisture work.
Other initiatives like School Nursery scheme was launched to involve schools students from young age in nursery and plantation operations. While, The study given to ICFRE for river rejuvenation of 13 major rivers will promote forestry along river, increase ground water recharge and reduce erosion.
Similarly, LiDAR technology using airborne method will assist the degraded land for construction of soil measures. Ministry has also launched a National transit portal to promote smooth inter-state movement of forest produce.
Report by Tapas Bhattacharya