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'Redd' - Readiness In India

External Reference/Copyright
Issue date: 
November 01, 2010
Publisher Name: 
Ghasiram Panda
Author e-Mail: 
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Acceleration of science and technology is leading the human race towards the zenith of comfort. But ironically, we are coming closer to that great depression, which may mark the end of another civilization. Entire world is now in the grips of unwarranted scare. Irregularities in natural phenomenon are emerging as major threats to the existence of mankind. Large scale deforestation and degradation of forests is being attributed to the present global ecological imbalance.

Reducing emissions of Green House Gases (GHGs) from deforestation and forest degradation is now being considered as a cost effective option to mitigate climate change. It has estimated that this can check around 17 % of global GHG emission to the environment. Indonesia, Brazil like developing and some of the underdeveloped countries are now making themselves for REDD readiness and have introduced REDD pilot projects.

India, if assessed in this context, holds a lot of potential and thus generates a lot of optimism. 21.02% of Indian territory is estimated to be covered by forest.  Growing pressure over forest, converting forestland to non forest activities, and an overwhelming attitude to generate as much revenue from forest resources can be counted as the prime reasons behind the gradual diminish of forest property in our country. However, India has taken significant steps by enacting laws, policies and setting of action plans and missions to reduce deforestation, increase forest coverage and ensuring participation of community in management of forest resource.  Right from the Indian Forest Act, 1927 our policy makers have always tried to stop the menace of deforestation and maintain a healthier eco-system. Forest conservation Act of 1980 has categorically debarred any conversion of forest land into any other revenue category. Besides, National Forest Policy, 1988; Joint Forest Management Guidelines, 1990; and National Environment Policy, 2006 are some of the endeavors of the Government to curb deforestation and ensure peoples’ participation in that process.
Acts, Policies, Legislations and Guidelines are good. But the role and rights of communities are no less crucial in this juncture. Compatibility of the inhabitants of forest areas are also taken into consideration now-a-days. Forest Rights Act, 2006 is a land mark Act where the Indian Constitution confers rights to the traditional forest dwellers. Local self government agencies are tied up with the village forest protection groups and the State Forest Departments as well. With these initiatives of the government and participation of socio-community institutions like NGOs, Youth Clubs, Community Forestry Groups, Women Self Help Groups etc., aforestation graph has moved northward to some extent

Leaving aside forest department of the Union Government or Provincial Governments, other sectors are also extending good co-operation to enrich the ecology in various ways. Rural Development ministry of India Government has ushered in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in the year of 2006. Each job card holding family is entitled to work for at least 100 days of a financial year as per the provision of this Act.  Aforestation and horticultural activities are recommended fields of work under this Act. So also plantation and biodiversity maintenance is a component of watershed development schemes. Comprehensive development of waste land can be noticed in different watershed peripheral areas of the country. All the above stated activities have contributed to the greenery in the rural pockets of our country.

These above said illustrations shed light on India’s preparedness for implementation of REDD Plus approach. But beneath all these rules, regulations, guidelines etc. lacunas are certainly there in plenty.  But a beginning has already been in motion. Knitting the communities’ mind with that of the elite thinkers and policy makers will undoubtedly make India help the rest of the globe in saving the ecology and through that eliminating a real threat to human existence. 

Ghasiram Panda
+91 - 9438341794


Extpub | by Dr. Radut