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Friday, 4 November 2011


The National Mission for a Green India, as one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), recognizes that climate change phenomena will seriously affect and alter the distribution, type and quality of natural biological resources of the country and the associated livelihoods of the people. Mission for a Green India (henceforth referred to as Mission) acknowledges the influences that the forestry sector has on environmental amelioration though climate mitigation, food security, water security, biodiversity conservation and livelihood security of forest dependant communities. GIM puts “greening” in the context of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Greening is meant to enhance ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and storage (in forests and other ecosystems), hydrological services and biodiversity; as well as other provisioning services such as fuel, fodder, small timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs).

The Mission aims at responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures, which would help:
enhancing carbon sinks in sustainably managed forests and other ecosystems;
 adaptation of vulnerable species/ecosystems to the changing climate; and
 adaptation of forest-dependant communities.

B. Mission Objectives
The objectives of the Mission are:
a) Increased forest/tree cover on 5 m ha of forest/non-forest lands and improved quality of forest cover on another 5 m ha (a total of 10 m ha).
b) Improved ecosystem services including biodiversity, hydrological services and carbon sequestration as a result of treatment of 10 m ha.
c) Increased forest-based livelihood income of about 3 million households living in and around the forests.
d) Enhanced annual CO2 sequestration by 50 to 60 million tonnes in the year 2020

C. Mission Targets (Outputs)
The Mission will have clear targets for different forest types and ecosystems which will enable achievement of the overall objectives of the Mission. The Mission targets 10 m ha of forest/non-forest lands and includes: a) qualitative improvement of forest cover/ecosystem in moderately dense forests (1.5 m ha), open degraded forests ( 3 m ha) , degraded grassland (0.4 m ha) and wetlands 0.1 m ha; b) eco-restoration/afforestation of scrub, shifting cultivation areas, cold deserts, mangroves, ravines and abandoned mining areas (2 m ha); c) bringing urban/ peri-urban lands under forest and tree cover ( 0.20 m ha); and d) agro-forestry /social forestry (3 m ha). The Mission also targets improvement of forest- based livelihoods for about three million households living in and around forests.

D. Key Elements of Mission Strategy
The key highlights of the Mission strategy are listed below:
 Holistic view to “greening” (broader than plantations): The scope of greening will go beyond trees and plantations to encompass both protection and restoration. Emphasis will be placed on restoration of degraded ecosystems and habitat diversity, for example, grassland and pastures (more so in arid/semi-arid regions), mangroves, wetlands and other critical ecosystems. The greening will not only strive to restore degraded
forests, but will also contribute in the protection and enhancement of forests with relatively dense forest cover.
 Vulnerability' and 'Potential' as criteria for intervention: Criteria for selection of project areas/sublandscapes/ sub-watersheds under the Mission will include projected vulnerability to climatic change, potential of areas for enhancing carbon sinks and the significance of the area from ecosystem services angle, such as biodiversity and hydrological services. 
 Integrated cross-sectoral approach to implementation: The Mission will foster an integrated approach that treats forests and non-forest public lands as well as private lands simultaneously, in project units/sublandscapes/ sub- watersheds. Livelihood dependencies, for example firewood needs and livestock grazing, will be addressed using inter-sectoral convergence (e.g., livestock, forest, agriculture, rural development, and energy)
Key role for local communities and decentralized governance: Local communities will be required to play a key role in project governance and implementation. The Mission will bring primacy to Gram Sabha as an overarching institution to oversee Mission implementation at the village level. The committees set up by the Gram Sabha, including revamped JFMCs, CFM groups, Van Panchayats, Committees set up under Forest Rights Act; Biodiversity Management Committees etc., will be strengthened as the primary institutions on the ground for nested decentralized forest governance in rural areas. Similarly in the schedule VI areas, the traditional village level institution/village councils will be supported. Likewise, the Mission will support revamping/strengthening of the Forest Development Agencies to support the field institutions.

 Cadre of Community Foresters: The Mission will invest in the development of a cadre of community- based change agents from amongst educated community youth. These community foresters will facilitate planning, implementation and monitoring of the Mission activities at the local level. This will provide skilled employment opportunity to about one lakh educated community youths.

Robust and effective monitoring framework: A comprehensive monitoring framework at four different levels is proposed. In addition to on-the-ground self-monitoring by multiple agencies, including communities, the Mission will support the use of modern technology like Remote Sensing with GPS mapping of plot boundaries for monitoring at the input /output/ outcome level. The Gram Sabha will carry out the social audit of the Mission activities at the village level.

 The Mission will identify research priorities in support of the Mission aim and objectives. The Mission will set up a cell under the overall guidance of MoEF to link to REDD Plus activities in the country. The Mission will implement its strategy through a set of five Sub Missions and cross-cutting interventions.

E. Mission Organisation
At the national level, the Mission will be set up as an autonomous Society under the aegis of the MoEF to
facilitate smooth implementation of the Mission . The Governing Council of the Society, Chaired by the Minister for Environment and Forests, Government of India, and drawing upon cross-sectoral representation, will provide overall guidance. The Mission will be subjected to the highest degree of financial accountability and transparency. A revamped State Forest Development Agency will act as the State Mission Directorate and will be chaired by the Chief Minister/ Forest Minister. It will solicit cross-sectoral representation and will guide the Mission activities at the State level.

At District level, the Mission implementation will be facilitated by revamped Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) and will link with District Planning Committee. The Gram Sabha, and the various Committees set up by it, will be the key institution for planning and implementation at the village level. A federation of these Committees along with a federation of self-help groups (SHGs)/ User Groups (UGs) at the cluster level will be represented in the revamped FDA at the district level. In urban areas, the ward level committees /RWAs linked to Municipality/Municipal Corporations will facilitate planning and implementation under the Mission.

F. Timeframe
The actual implementation period of the Mission will spread over 10 years, coinciding with the 12 and 13 five year plan periods. Year 2010-11 will be utilised to get the State Action Plans in place. The preparatory phase of the Mission (2011-12) will be devoted to carrying out institutional reforms, setting up of the Mission organisation, identification of sub-landscapes/areas for the Mission interventions, identification of partners, and awareness and capacity building etc. The Mission will thus have a preparatory phase, a first phase (five years) and a second phase (five years).

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