Green India Mission gets approval from PM council

Green India Mission gets approval from PM councilIndian government has approved an ambitious project for increasing forest land in India. This project, titled Green India Mission aims at raising India's forest covered land by 5 million hectares over a period of next 10 years.

Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change approved this Rs 46,000 crore project on Wednesday. Green India Mission is one among 8 missions specified in National Action Plan on Climate Change.

Currently, 70 million hectare land in India is forest land, but nearly 28 million hectare land is either considered as degraded or bad quality forests. This mission will be executed by Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh said about the project, "India is endowed with vast forest resources. The total forest and tree cover of the country is estimated at 23.39% of the geographic area, of which forest cover accounts for 21.02% (69.09 million hectare)."

This mission not only aims at increasing forest area in India, but also targets improving quality of forests in India. Other key areas to be covered under this mission are improvement of ecosystem services like biodiversity, hydrological services and carbon sequestration. This mission also aims at making forests a source of livelihood of at least 3 million families. India has a rich biodiversity with only 2.4% of world's forest land and 7-8% of the flora and fauna of the world.

Green India Mission will also ensure that forests in India should be able to capture 5 million tonnes of CO2 per month after ten years. This target is just 6% of total expected emission.