State eyes carbon credits through tree campaign
The ambitious rural tree plantation scheme — where the government wanted every villager to plant at least on tree each — will soon be taken to the next level. After having achieved planting of 5.93 crore over the past one-and-half-year, just a few lakhs short of the magic figure of 6.25 crore trees equal to the rural population, the state has already started thinking of earning some green points to support the project further.
“I have asked the department to do a survey of the trees and see how they have been planted. Apparently, only trees which are planted in a linear method are eligible for earning carbon credits,” said rural development minister Jayant Patil.
The state government gives a monetary incentive to the villages, which are able to reach targets as put in the scheme. It calls for planting at least trees equal to 50% of the village population in the first year, and the remaining in the next two years.
Patil said the department will finish the survey by the end of the three-year project and then take an account of trees planted in the manner required. “We will then see if this project can be put out in the carbon market. If we earn anything through the project, then we can put the money back into greening the areas further,” the minister said.
To make sure that the trees planted in the first year are protected and stay rooted till the end of the project, the government has started providing tree guards, Patil added. The Rural Development Secretary Sudir Thakre added that the government has also given options of planting different types of trees including flowering trees or even those which give fruits. “Villagers have the choice of planting a tree according to their requirement and soil conditions,” he said.