The Dera Mandi forest area near Delhi’s southern Ridge would have remained a useless patch of land but for the fight against climate change.
The Delhi government has marked these greens as a systematic earner of thousands of carbon credits, contributing to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emission.
Polluting companies buy carbon credits as a price of their emission. The money from carbon credits can be used to fund green technologies.
The forest department has sent a detailed proposal to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to get Dera Mandi approved as a project to earn 15,000 carbon credits per year, for 30 years, for Delhi.
Its environmental value is as good as reducing 15,000 tonnes of carbon di oxide in the atmosphere per year.
In all, it is expected to remove around 450,000 tonnes of CO2 emission.
The idea is to turn the Dera Mandi forest into a certified carbon sink, quantifying the carbon trapping potential of the green patch.
If the model of the pilot project is approved, entire Delhi ridge across 7,777 hectares can be turned into a treasure trove of carbon credits applying the same design.
As per the submitted report, the government wants to plant around 14 select species of trees with high carbon neutralisation abilities on 727 hectares, with 272 trees per hectare.
“We will monitor the whole project through geo-positioned satellites,” said the senior forest officer in charge of the project.
“We have to also worry about some carbon di oxide leaking back into the atmosphere, which is a minor concern for any carbon sink.”
The Army’s green task force consisting of ex-servicemen is to man the projects. A similar project is also being conceived for the land at Asola Bhatti mines in South Delhi.