The Forest Advisory Committee, an apex body tasked with adjudicating requests by the industry to raze forest land for commercial ends, has approved a scheme that could allow “forests” to be traded as a commodity. It allows the Forest Department to outsource one of its responsibilities of reforesting to non-government agencies. In the current system, industry needs to make good the loss of forest by finding appropriate non-forest land — equal to that which would be razed. It also must pay the State Forest Department the current economic equivalent — called Net Present Value — of the forest land. It’s then the Forest Department’s responsibility to grow appropriate vegetation that, over. The proposed ‘Green Credit Scheme’, as it is called, allows agencies — they could be private companies, village forest communities — to identify land and begin growing plantations. After three years, they would be eligible to be considered as compensatory forest land if they met the Forest Department’s criteria.
Panel approves scheme to ‘trade’ in forests
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