India has around 22.7% of the total area of forest land. According to UN directions, each country must have its one-third area as forest land, and the government of India has taken measures in this direction. The Indian government has launched many schemes and programs to practice afforestation in Indian land. These efforts are followed at both the central and the state levels. The recently launched Hara Bhara Aerial Seeding Campaign was a big step in this direction. In this article, we will read about significant forest policies of the government of India to increase forest area. We will read about CAMPA funds, CAF, and NAP schemes.
What are the CAMPA Funds?
CAMPA stands for Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority. Under this afforestation program, the ministry of union environment has transferred Rs. 47,436 crore to 27 states for the afforestation practice.
The CAMPA Act, 2016
The CAMPA Act of 2016 has enforced CAMPA funds into regulation. The highlights of this act are as follows:
- The act aims to compensate for the loss of forest areas and to maintain sustainability.
- The government of India came up with this act to enforce compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
- These funds receive the payments for:
- Compensatory afforestation
- Net present value
- Other projects
- According to this act, the company diverting land must provide the alternative land to take up compensatory afforestation.
The CAMPA fund has been collected from the industries as environmental compensation for nearly a decade, and this fund comes under the CAF, Compensatory Afforestation Fund.
What are the Objectives of the CAMPA Funds?
The objectives of the CAMPA funds are as follows:
- To promote the afforestation program and development activities to compensate for the forest land which is diverted to non-forest land.
- To deliver effective guidelines for the state.
- To resolve the issues between inter-state or center-state.
- For the afforestation program, the company has to pay for the newer trees in the alternative land provided to the state.
What is the Meaning of CAF?
It means that when forest land is changed into non-forest land for various purposes (like mining), the user of that agency pays for the planting of trees over an equal area of non-forest land. Whenever such lands are not available, the user has to pay twice the area of the degraded forests.
The central government passed the CAF act in 2016, and the rules related to it were notified in 2018. The CAF act manages the funds collected for the Compensatory Afforestation. The CAF money is given in the 90:10 ratio, i.e., 90% money is given to the state, and the center retains the 10%.
The funds of the CAF have been used for the treatment of forest management, wildlife management and protection, training and awareness generations, supply of wood saving devices, catchment areas, etc.
What is the NAP Scheme?
The NAP stands for the National Afforestation Programme. This scheme is formulated by merging four 9th plans; this is a centrally sponsored afforestation scheme of the Ministry of Forests and Environment. The scheme is operated by the National Afforestation and Eco-development board. This scheme is implemented with a fund sharing pattern of 60:40 percent between the center and states and northeastern hilly state 90:10. The institutional setup executes it. The main three-tier institutional setups of the scheme are as follows:
- Joint Forest management committee(JRMCs) at the village level.
- Forest development agency (FDA) at the forest division level.
- State forest development agency (SFDAs) at the state level.
What are the Objectives of the NAP Scheme?
The objectives of the NAP scheme are as follows:
- Ecological restoration of forest and degraded land.
- To enhance the quality of the soil.
- To develop the resources of the forest for the people.
A Way Forward
Forests play an essential role in maintaining the ecological balance of the Earth. They help prevent soil erosion, responsible for timely rain showers and provide shelter to millions of plants and animals. They are a vital source of millions of resources like animals, plants, wood, medicines, timber, and other essential things. Many people, especially of northeastern states and tribal people, depend on forests for their livelihood. However, human activities such as deforestation, unplanned agriculture, overgrazing, overpopulation, industrial establishments, and pollution lead to a huge loss of forests. Such activities cause depletion of the forest layer, which is a great terror to humanity.
The government and each individual should also understand his responsibilities towards the environment and follow the rules and regulations set up for its protection.