the-green-credit-scheme

Forest Department has proposed to outsource one of its responsibilities of reforesting to non-government agencies.

Reforestation: Present system 

  • The industry benefiting from the razed forest land needs to replace with appropriate non-forest land.
  • It also must pay the State Forest Department the current economic equivalent called Net Present Value of the forest land. 
  • The Forest Department’s responsibility to grow appropriate vegetation that, over time, would grow into forests.

Issues 

  • Industries find it hard to acquire appropriate non-forest land, which has to be contiguous to the existing forest.
  • Corpus of about ₹50,000 crores for afforestation is lying unspent by the States.

About the Green credit scheme 

  • The green credit scheme allows agencies private companies or village forest communities to identify land and begin growing plantations.
  •  After three years, they would be eligible to be considered as compensatory forest land if they met the Forest Department’s criteria. 
  • An industry needing forest land could then approach the agency and pay it for parcels of forested land.
  • The land will be transferred to the Forest Department and be recorded as forest land.

Opposition to the scheme 

  • It does not solve the core problems of compensatory afforestation
  • It creates problems privatizing multi-use forest areas as monoculture plantation plots
  • Forests are treated as a mere commodity without any social or ecological character.

Also read: India's New Draft National Forest Policy, 2018

India State Of Forest Report