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.
- 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.