The Centre will give Himalayan states — from Jammu and Kashmir in the north to Sikkim in the Northeast — a “green bonus” from next fiscal for conserving forests that act as carbon sinks.
The environment ministry in August estimated that forests, which cover 25 per cent of the country’s area, could absorb up to 11 per cent of India’s green house gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
The “green bonus”, announced by Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday, will strengthen India’s proposal of seeking funds from the rich countries for conserving forests under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) at the Copenhagen climate change conference in December.
Till now, the mechanism enables developing countries to get fund for offsetting green house gas emissions through use of cleaner technologies.
“We may start with a small amount to begin with,” the minister said at end of a conclave of the Himalayan states.
“My concept is that the states which are conserving ecology... should be compensated.’’
The 13th Finance Commission will decide the amount of the bonus. It is expected to submit its report by December. It would be left to the states to distribute the “green bonus” to the stakeholders.