Help In­dia go green

There’s good news for young en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists as 100,000 com­mu­nity foresters could be hired to help green In­dia

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Su­jit Chakraborty

In­dia will en­gage 100,000 ed­u­cated youths to ex­e­cute an am­bi­tious Green In­dia Mis­sion (GIM) which seeks to in­crease the coun­try’s for­est cover to 33% from 20% within 10 years.

Ac­cord­ing to top for­est of­fi­cial, PJ Dilip Ku­mar, di­rec­tor gen­eral of In­dia’s for­est depart­ment, in or­der to cope with cli­mate change threats, the cen­tral and state gov­ern­ments have de­cided to raise new for­est cover on five mil­lion hectares un­der the GIM.

“In­dia has to in­crease its present for­est cover area of 20% (out of the to­tal geo­graph­i­cal area) to 33% within the next 10 years,” Ku­mar said in a re­cent in­ter­view.

“To fa­cil­i­tate plan­ning, ex­e­cu­tion and mon­i­tor­ing of the GIM at the vil­lage level, one lakh cadre of com­mu­nity foresters (CCF) would be In­dian School of Mines, Dhan­bad, Btech in EE In­dian In­sti­tutes of Tech­nol­ogy, mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions, var­i­ous pro­grammes Univer­sity of Delhi, MA/MSC in en­vi­ron­men­tal stud­ies, R&D pro­grammes, National En­vi­ron­men­tal En­gi­neer­ing Re­search In­sti­tute, em­ployed from among ed­u­cated com­mu­nity youths,” he said.

The R46,000 crore ($9 bil­lion) plan is one of the eight mis­sions un­der the National Ac­tion Plan on Cli­mate Change an­nounced by the prime min­is­ter in June 2008. The GIM doc­u­ment was pre­pared in June last year. With 2011-12 be­ing the prepara­tory year, GIM would be im­ple­mented by the Twelfth and Thir­teenth Five Year Plans (2012-13 to 20162017 and 2017-18 to 2021-22).

“In view of the mas­sive ur­ban­i­sa­tion and con­struc­tion of... in­fra­struc­ture, parks, grass­lands, wet­lands and open spa­ces across In­dia would be in dan­ger. Un­der the GIM, these ar­eas would be pro­tected,” said Ku­mar. GIM also tar­gets im­prove­ment of for­est-based liveli­hood for about three mil­lion house­holds liv­ing in and around forests.

“The mis­sion is the first of its kind in In­dia as it is aimed at the so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment of trib­als and other back­ward peo­ple, and the pro­tec­tion of nat­u­ral re­sources through... par­tic­i­pa­tory man­age­ment of nat­u­ral re­sources,” he said.

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