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‘One for ten’ trees compensatory afforestation

  • Published
    23rd Feb, 2022
Context

Recently Agartala Smart City adopts ‘one for ten’ trees compensatory afforestation drive to minimise ecological loss.

About

Smart City Mission and ecology in Agartala:

  • The road which links the new International Terminal Building with Agartala city is being expanded into a four-lane road.
  • Around 1,000 trees will be planted and raised till the plants attain adulthood on both sides of the proposed four-lane road.
  • Under the Asian Development Bank-funded project that will convert all the city roads into smart roads, an initiative has been taken to plant ten trees for one tree extracted.
  • Under some specific projects trees, are being uprooted for up-gradation of the existing roads.
  • However, there are efforts being made to not harm the ecological balance and hence some adult trees have relocated alive under the technical guidance of the Tripura Forest Department.
  • To ensure minimum loss to the ecology, only those trees that are preventing the construction of underground draining are being extracted.
  • A conscious effort is being made to avoid uprooting old trees coming in the way of footpaths.

What is Compensatory Afforestation?

  • The simple principle at work here is that since forests are an important natural resource and render a variety of ecological services, they must not be destroyed.
  • However, because of developmental or industrial requirements, forests are routinely cut, or, as it is said in official language, “diverted for non-forest purposes”.
  • In such cases, the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 requires that non-forest land, equal to the size of the forest being “diverted”, is afforested.
  • But since afforested land does not become a forest overnight, there is still a loss of the goods and services that the diverted forest would have provided in the interim period.
  • So in short, Compensatory afforestation is defined as afforestation done in lieu of the diversion of forest land for non-forest use.

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA):

  • The Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2009 issued orders that there will be a Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) as National Advisory Council under the chairmanship of the Union Minister of Environment & Forests for monitoring, technical assistance and evaluation of compensatory afforestation activities.
  • Objectives of CAMPA:
    • CAMPA are meant to promote afforestation and regeneration activities as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest uses.
    • National CAMPA Advisory Council has been established with the following mandate:
      • Lay down broad guidelines for State CAMPA.
      • Facilitate scientific, technological and other assistance that may be required by State CAMPA.
      • Make recommendations to State CAMPA based on a review of their plans and programmes.
      • Provide a mechanism to State CAMPA to resolve issues of an inter-state or Centre-State character.
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