National Mission For A Green India

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Introduction

The National Mission for Green India (GIM) is one of the eight Missions outlined under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). It aims at protecting; restoring and enhancing India’s diminishing forest cover and responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures. It envisages a holistic view of greening and focuses on multiple ecosystem services, especially, biodiversity, water, biomass, preserving mangroves, wetlands, critical habitats etc. along with carbon sequestration as a co-benefit. This mission has adopted an integrated cross-sectoral approach as it will be implemented on both public as well as private lands with a key role of the local communities in planning, decision making, implementation and monitoring.

Mission Goals

  • To increase forest/tree cover to the extent of 5 million hectares (mha) and improve quality of forest/tree cover on another 5 mha of forest/non-forest lands;
  • To improve/enhance eco-system services like carbon sequestration and storage (in forests and other ecosystems), hydrological services and biodiversity; along with provisioning services like fuel, fodder, and timber and non-timber forest produces (NTFPs); and
  • To increase forest based livelihood income of about 3 million households.

Convergence          

  • Green India Mission hinges upon convergence with related Missions of the National Action Plan on Climate Change, other complementary National Mission Programmes and schemes for better coordination in developing forests and their fringe areas in a holistic and sustainable manner. The coherent approach involving contribution from converging partners intends to saturate the landscapes with essential need-based interventions at a faster pace. Also the convergence aims at optimizing efficient use of resources and avoidance of contrast activities which can disturb the balance in the ecosystem due to lack of coordination between different schemes.
  • As a first step towards translation of these efforts into action, Green India mission has issued the Convergence Guidelines of GIM with MNREGS. Efforts are on to finalize convergence guidelines with other complimentary schemes to set out the approach for coordination at field level.
  • Convergence guidelines of GIM with CAMPA have been framed to ensure a synergized approach which is required to address the challenges being faced in environment, forest and wildlife sector thereby contributing to ecological security in the context of climate change.

Ecosystems Service Improvement Project

Green India Mission Division intends to take up a World Bank aided “Ecosystem Services Improvement Project” (ESIP) in selected landscapes of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh States which has been designed to enhance the outcomes of the GIM. The project proposes to improve forest quality and productivity along with interventions aimed at reforestation, reducing land degradation, institutional capacities building and enhancing NTFP trade and improve the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in Central Indian Highlands.

The intended major outcomes of the project are:

  • Improved ecosystem services and reversal of land degradation in select locations at the landscape level, resulting in an overall net increase in carbon sequestration, higher volumes of NTFP and increased availability of fodder for cattle and other livestock;
  • Augmentation of the shared natural resources on which extreme poor communities depend and therefore, contribute to enhancing and sustaining their incomes;
  • Enhance connectivity between Protected Areas (PA) by geographically targeting investments in biological corridor areas that are remote, fragmented and often poorly connected;
  • Increased availability of tree and plant biomass, Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), firewood and small timber for bonafide use is expected, which are available to communities;
  • Inclusive growth by reaching the yet un-served communities living around remote forest areas; and
  • Increased wage labour opportunities for the local population, particularly during the lean agriculture season, when the bulk of pre-plantation activities are carried out.

Components of National Mission for A Green India Strategy

1. Holistic view to “greening” (broader than plantations): The mission envisages that greening will go beyond trees and plantation so that greening encompasses both protection and restoration.

2. ‘Vulnerability’ and ‘Potential’ as criteria for intervention: The mission envisages that firstly find out the region of project areas/sub landscapes/sub-watersheds so that those areas will enhance their carbon sink by the services of the mission.

3. Integrated cross-sectoral approach to implementation: The Mission will foster an integrated approach that treats forests and non-forest public lands as well as private lands simultaneously, in project units/ sub landscapes/ sub- watersheds. Livelihood dependencies, for example firewood needs and livestock grazing, will be addressed using inter-sectoral convergence (e.g., animal husbandry, forest, agriculture, rural development and energy)

The mission for Green India is a wonderful initiation of the government because it recognises the influences and potential of the forests and other natural ecosystems. The areas of working on the mission revolving around the climate adaptation/mitigation, and food, water, environmental and livelihood security of tribal and forest dwellers.