India’s forests have long been an important part of her culture and a defi ning feature of her landscape: India
• India has more than 70 million hectares under Forest Cover, which is more than twice the entire geographical area of Finland.
• While most developing countries lost forest cover, India added around 3mn hectares of forest and tree
cover over the last decade. Forests neutralize ~11% of India’s GHG emissions.
• India is one of the 17 megadiverse countries with 4 global biodiversity hotspots.
• 200 million people are dependent on forests for livelihood in India. Concerted programmes are making them partners in conservation. India enacted a Forest Rights Act, 2006 to vest forest rights and titles on traditional forest dwelling communities.
• India has one of the most advanced forest mapping programmes in the world, with the Forest Survey of India conducting a biennial cycle of forest and tree cover assessment.
India recognizes that conserving, expanding and improving the quality of our forests is a major national priority. This has enormous domestic and transnational mitigating benefi ts. Not only is it a cost effective and effi cient way to mitigate the effects of climate change but it also improves India’s water security, safeguards rich biodiversity and provides livelihood security for millions of Indians.
GREEN INDIA MISSION
The government has put in place a National Mission for a Green India as part of the country’s National Action Plan for Climate Change with a budget of Rs 46,000 crores (approx. USD 10 billion) over a period of 10 years. The overarching objective of the Mission is to increase forest and tree cover in 5 m ha and improve quality of forest cover in another 5 million ha. Thus, the Mission will help in improving ecosystem services in 10 million ha of land, and increase flow of forest based livelihood services to, and income of about 3 million forest dependent households.