India is one of the few countries where forest and tree cover has increased in recent years transforming country’s forests into a net sink owing to national policies aimed at conservation and sustainable management of forests. As per the latest assessment, forests and tree cover has increased from 23.4% in 2005 to 24% of the geographical area in2013. Government of India’s long term goal is to bring 33% of its geographical area under forest cover eventually.


1) With its focus on sustainable forest management, afforestation and regulating diversion of forest land for non-forest purpose, India has been successful in improving carbon stock in its forest by about 5%, from 6,621.5 million tons in 2005 to 6,941 million tonnes in 2013.


2) Initiatives like Green India Mission (GIM) aim to further increase the forest/tree cover to the extent of 5 million hectares (mha) and improve quality of forest/tree cover on another 5 mha of forest/non-forest lands along with providing livelihood support. It is expected to enhance carbon sequestration by about 100 million tonnes CO2 equivalent annually.


3) These efforts have been further augmented by policies like National Agro-forestry Policy (NAP), REDD-Plus policy, Joint Forest Management; National Afforestation Programme and proposed devolution of about USD 6 billion under Compensatory Afforestation to states.


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