Vast potential for sustainable forest management in MP

Published on Mar 21, 2006 01:02 AM IST

MADHYA PRADESH is implementing an innovative scheme of sustainable management of private forest situated in ?non-forest? areas under the provision of MP Lokvaniki Act, 2001, and rules framed in 2002.

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None | ByRN Saxena, Bhopal

MADHYA PRADESH is implementing an innovative scheme of sustainable management of private forest situated in ‘non-forest’ areas under the provision of MP Lokvaniki Act, 2001, and rules framed in 2002.

According to an estimate, 6000 sq km of non-forest land is available in the State with approximately 50,000 farmers. Lands of PSUs and Army etc can also be utilised for raising high-density plantations, since areas are very well protected. Designs and modules can be developed by synthesis of forestry and horticulture species for sustainable economic returns. 

The mandatory provisions, registration, project formulation, understanding baseline methodologies etc are very complicated in nature, and consequently beyond the reach of entrepreneurs, project proponents, investors and financial institutions.

This problem can be solved by forming an association (or federation) for constituting ‘bundle project(s)’ and the State can play the role of a proactive facilitator. This body can obtain registration, carry out carbon trading on behalf of members on stock exchange / carbon fund. The participating members shall retain their rights over forest produce and lands, but the carbon sequestrated shall be tradable by the entity. 

The projects provide an excellent opportunity to carry out extension of forest cover through farm forestry, bio-diesel plantations and horticulture by attracting investments. If implemented properly, the projects can provide ecological stability to declining water table in Nimar, Malwa, Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand regions.

For reaping economic benefits, it is suggested that a special cell may be constituted in the Forest Department, so that the Lokvaniki farmers may be constituted into bundle project(s).

Additional incentive to investors may be provided by rationalising stamp duty and taxes etc for attracting heavy investment in the State.

The market research provides that India can attract an FDI of about Rs 15,000 crore in such projects. The investors may be welcomed in a time-bound manner since the time period available is very short. The mankind has been exploiting lithosphere and hydrosphere for life sustenance. But still our understanding of atmosphere is rudimentary. The troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere have got vital importance for sustainable development.

Taking note of the situation, the United Nations organised the ‘UN Conference on Human Environment’ in 1972, which followed the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC), the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, and the Kyoto Protocol was conceptualised in 1997 after intensive and tense negotiations. 

India signed Kyoto Protocol in 2002. After ratification by 55 per cent of signatories and countries producing 55 per cent of Green House Gas Emissions (GHGs), the protocol has become legally binding since February 16, 2005. 

 The Article-253 of the Constitution of India provides that the protocol and conventions by the Union of India are implementable in states. About 31 international protocols related to environment, forest, biodiversity, wildlife, environment and combating desertification have been signed.

The methodology of the protocol has been developed to mitigate climate changes and to promote clean technology on the basis of differential and joint responsibility. The developed countries are required to transfer technology and capital to developing and undeveloped countries to earn carbon credits. One of the main components of the protocol is Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) (Article-17).

The Ministry of Environment & Forest constituted the ‘National Clean Development Mechanism Authority’ in 2004. Forestry and horticulture farmers, and plantation industry can harvest direct economic benefits from CDM. 

(The writer is an IFS officer posted as Additional PCCF, MP)

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