Green India Mission
Context: India is lagging behind in the targets to increase the number and quality of tree- and forest-cover plantations set in the Green India Mission, according to data accessed via the Right To Information Act.
What is National Green India Mission?
- The National Mission for a Green India or the commonly called Green India Mission (GIM), is one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
- It was launched in February, 2014 with the objective to safeguard the biological resources of our nation and associated livelihoods against the peril of adverse climate change and to recognise the vital impact of forestry on ecological sustainability, biodiversity conservation and food-, water- and livelihood-security.
- It aims at protecting, restoring and enhancing India’s diminishing forest cover and responding to climate change through adaptation and mitigation measures. It envisages a holistic view of greening that extends beyond tree planting. GIM focusses on multiple ecosystem services such as biodiversity, water, biomass, preserving mangroves, wetlands, critical habitats etc. along with carbon sequestration.
- The Mission would strive for enhancing carbon sinks in sustainably managed forests and other ecosystems, adaptation of vulnerable species/ecosystems to the changing climate and adaptation of forest-dependent communities.
- The goals include increased forest/tree cover and improved quality of forest cover in millions of hectares of forest/non-forest lands, improved ecosystem services including biodiversity, carbon sequestration and hydrological services along with provisioning services like fuel, fodder, and timber and non-timber forest produces and increased forest-based livelihood income of households living in and around forests.
- Traditional Ecological Knowledge of communities, along with forestry science and state-of-the-art technology would improve the Mission interventions.
- GIM also aims at convergence with complementary schemes and programmes for better coordination in developing forests and their fringe areas in a holistic and sustainable way, which is required to address the challenges being faced in environment, forest and wildlife sectors.
- A multidisciplinary team, both from Govt. and NGOs will be mandated to facilitate planning and implementation at cluster/landscape unit level.
- The Mission’s emphasis on the landscape approach i.e., landscapes as large contiguous areas of forest/ non forest land, at different scale/levels provide better opportunity to meet targets for both National and State Forest policy.
- An integrated cross-sectoral approach would be implemented on both public as well as private lands with the involvement of grass root level organizations and local communities in planning, decision making, implementation and monitoring.
- Moreover, GIM would take into account the forces of de-greening operating across the country and thereby give special emphasis to relate to processes that halt ‘de-greening’.
About the Report
- From 2015-16 to 2021-22, the Centre – based on submissions from 17 States – had approved a target of increasing tree/forest cover by 53,377 hectares and improving the quality of degraded forest by 1,66,656 ha. However, in response to queries by Kerala-based RTI campaigner, Govindan Nampoothiry, the Environment Ministry this month responded with figures from 17 States noting tree/forest cover had increased by 26,287 hectares and forest quality improved in only 1,02,096 hectares as of December 31, 2022.
- States with significant shortfall in tree cover include Andhra Pradesh, with a target of 186 ha but having only achieved 75 ha; Uttarakhand with a target of 6,446 ha but only 1,505 ha achieved; Madhya Pradesh targeting 5,858 ha but delivering 1,882 ha; Kerala committing 1,686 ha but furnishing 616 ha; Punjab, unusually committed to 629 ha but having delivered 1,082 ha.
About the India state of forest report-2021
- As per the India State of Forest Report-2021, forest and tree cover in the country increased by 2,261 square kilometre since the last assessment in 2019. India’s total forest and tree cover was 80.9 million hectares, which accounted for 24.62% of the geographical area of the country. The report said 17 States and Union Territories had more than 33% of their area under forest cover. Madhya Pradesh had the largest forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. The top five States in terms of forest cover as a percentage of their total geographical area were Mizoram (84.53%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33%), Meghalaya (76%), Manipur (74.34%) and Nagaland (73.90%).