Govt to spend Rs 46,000 cr on vulnerable green areas | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt to spend Rs 46,000 cr on vulnerable green areas

Vulnerability of Indian forests to climate change will be assessed and remedial measures will be adopted under the Rs 46,000 crore Green India Mission.

delhi Updated: Jun 14, 2011 00:30 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Vulnerability of Indian forests to climate change will be assessed and remedial measures will be adopted under the Rs 46,000 crore Green India Mission.

In a note circulated for Cabinet approval to seek funds to make the mission operational, the environment ministry has proposed that parts of Indian forest, which are most vulnerable to climate change, will be identified using satellite mapping and on ground research.

"It is not possible to bring entire forest area under the Green India Mission as that sort of funds would not be available," a senior ministry official explained.

Therefore, the ministry wants to concentrate on vulnerable forest areas and make an effort to protect them from likely impact of climate change.

The Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, has identified seven vulnerability criteria for identification of forests based on forest diversity and density. The government also wants to cover all wildlife corridors, critical wildlife habitats, important water sources and biodiversity habitats in these special protection areas.

The mission is ministry's ambitious programme to increase forest cover by 5 million hectares and improve quality of another five million hectares of degraded forests. These 10 million hectares of forestland will be India's green lungs and key to sequester 50 to 60 million tones of additional CO2 by 2020.

In the note, the ministry has argued that maintaining some forest zones in different landscapes of India will be must to counter the challenges of climate change in the next 20-30 years.

"Both best and worst forest areas will be identified for protection under the mission," an official said.

The note also says that the current financial year will be utilized to prepare state action plans and set up a mission office within the ministry.

From the next financial year, the fund disbursement of approximately Rs 4,100 crore will start. The money will be provided to the state governments for specific jobs under the mission, which includes creation of a cadre of green volunteers.

The ministry has sought money from the Clean Energy Fund to make the mission operational from this financial year.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee in his budget speech had announced special allocation to environment ministry for greening India.