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  • The government has noted that there is a need to revise the existing National Forest Policy, 1988.
  • The previous NFPs were focused on production and revenue generation of forests (NFP, 1894 and NFP, 1952) and environmental stability and maintenance of ecological balance (NFP, 1988). NFP, 2018 talks about climate change mitigation through sustainable forest management.
  • Objective of the Policy:
  • “To safeguard the ecological and livelihood security of people, of the present and future generations, based on sustainable management of the forests for the flow of ecosystem services”.
  • To address the issue of climate change, NFP, 2018 contributes to the forestry-related Nationally Determined Contribution Targets and by integrating, “climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in forest management through the mechanism of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus) so that the impacts of the climate change is minimised”.

The new features to be introduced in the Draft policy include:

  • sustainable forest management,
  • climate change mitigation strategies, and
  • an evaluation mechanism to oversee participation of multiple stakeholders in forests.

Key features of the draft Policy include:  

  • Eco-security: The country should aim to have a minimum of one-third of the total land area under forest and tree cover. In hilly and mountainous regions, the aim will be to maintain two-third of the area under forest and tree cover. This would help prevent soil erosion and land degradation.
  • Forest plantations: Productivity of forest plantations will be increased through scientific and technological interventions in order to encourage usage of timber. This will also reduce the dependency on other high carbon footprint wood substitutes.
  • Afforestation activities through PPP: Public Private Participation (PPP) models will be developed for undertaking afforestation and reforestation activities in:
    • degraded forest areas,
    • forest areas available with Forest Development Corporations, and
    • outside forests.
  • Participatory Forest Management: A National Community Forest Management mission will be launched to strengthen participatory forest management. Under the Mission, effort will be made to ensure synergy between gram sabhas & Joint Forest Management Committee in the state for ensuring successful community participation in forest management.
  • Financial support: The budget of the forestry sector of the states will be enhanced proportionately to the allocation of central resources devolved, based on the Finance Commission weightage on forest resources of the states.
  • Institutional framework: A National Board of Forestry headed by the central minister in-charge of forests and State Boards of Forestry headed by state minister in-charge of forests will be established. These Boards will ensure inter-sectoral convergence, simplification of procedures, conflict resolution, and periodic review.




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