India will engage 100,000 educated youths to execute an ambitious Green India Mission (GIM) which seeks to increase the country’s forest cover to 33% from 20% within 10 years.
According to top forest official, PJ Dilip Kumar, director general of India’s forest department, in order to cope with climate change threats, the central and state governments have decided to raise new forest cover on five million hectares under the GIM.
“India has to increase its present forest cover area of 20% (out of the total geographical area) to 33% within the next 10 years,” Kumar said in a recent interview.
“To facilitate planning, execution and monitoring of the GIM at the village level, one lakh cadre of community foresters (CCF) would be employed from among educated community youths,” he said.
The R46,000 crore ($9 billion) plan is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change announced by the prime minister in June 2008. The GIM document was prepared in June last year. With 2011-12 being the preparatory year, GIM would be implemented by the Twelfth and Thirteenth Five Year Plans (2012-13 to 2016-2017 and 2017-18 to 2021-22).
“In view of the massive urbanisation and construction of... infrastructure, parks, grasslands, wetlands and open spaces across India would be in danger. Under the GIM, these areas would be protected,” said Kumar. GIM also targets improvement of forest-based livelihood for about three million households living in and around forests.
“The mission is the first of its kind in India as it is aimed at the socio-economic development of tribals and other backward people, and the protection of natural resources through... participatory management of natural resources,” he said.
Courses that help
* Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, BTech in EE
* Indian Institutes of Technology, multiple locations, various programmes www.jee.iitd.ac.in
* University of Delhi, MA/MSc in environmental studies, www.du.ac.in
* R&D programmes, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, www.neeri.res.in