India Has $6.2 Billion Destined Solely to Create New Forests
India is making headlines around the world with some shareworthy news.
A bill, called the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, has recently been passed by the lower government. It states the intention of investing $6.2 billion to increase the current forest cover from 21.34% to 33%.
The ambitious plan has been approved by many political parties and is funded by various private companies who pay the government to use forest lands.
India’s environment minister Prakaj Javadakar stated, “These funds will be primarily spent on afforestation to compensate for loss of forest cover, regeneration of forest ecosystem, wildlife protection and infrastructure development.”
Not only will this mean a greater extension for wildlife to develop, but it will also create a cleaner environment as the extra trees will absorb a couple billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Currently, India is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. This bill is a key factor to accomplish one of their goals in their new climate plan to avoid environmental impact of emissions, also known as the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).
“I am sure that this fund will give a tremendous push in our afforestation movement. Our forest cover will dramatically increase and it will result in achieving our target 33 per cent of tree cover and most importantly 2.5 billion ton of carbon sink as we have indicated in our INDCs,” said Prakaj Javadekar.
However, some environmental experts are skeptical. Sreedhar Ramamurthi, an earth scientist, said there should be mechanisms to monitor the funds are used correctly. “We have taken note of every suggestion and we will include them while making rules in consultation with the states,” the minister said in response to constructive criticisms.