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Project Dolphin to be launched in a fortnight; CAMPA funds to only be used for plantation drives, afforestation: Javadekar

Chairing a meeting attended by the chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh and Goa, the deputy chief ministers and 24 forests ministers from across the country, Javadekar said the Finance Commission had increased the forest-based devolution of funds from 7 per cent to 10 per cent.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
August 18, 2020 5:41:23 am
DTC electric buses, prakash Javadekar, Delhi city news, arvind kejriwal, dtc electric buses funds, delhi electric busesUnion Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar. (File)

Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on Monday said that 80 per cent of CAMPA funds must be used for plantation drives and afforestation, while the rest is to be used for capacity building.

He also announced that Project Dolphin, which found space in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, will be launched by the ministry in a fortnight.

Chairing a meeting attended by the chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh and Goa, the deputy chief ministers and 24 forests ministers from across the country, Javadekar said the Finance Commission had increased the forest-based devolution of funds from 7 per cent to 10 per cent.

“This is a very significant move. Now states will receive 10 per cent of devolution of funds for their forest cover. One of my concerns is that in states the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) funds are being used to pay salaries of forest officials or infrastructure acquisition like vehicles etc. This is not what it was meant for.

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“I have directed that 80 per cent of the CAMPA funds have to mandatorily be used for plantation drives and afforestation alone while the rest is to be used for capacity building. Each state needs to have a separate budget that will take care of their other needs, and the devolution will take place according to the forest cover and the plans put into place by the states,” Javadekar said, adding that his ministry is focused on increasing tree cover for “maximum carbon stock”.

The minister said the Centre in August 2019 had released CAMPA funds worth Rs 47,436 crore for afforestation to various states. He said his ministry is also going to announce implementation of the School Nursery Scheme shortly.

Javadekar further pointed to the different initiatives undertaken by his ministry to reach this end, including tree plantation drives, promoting urban forestry through the Nagar Van Scheme, landscape-based catchment treatment of 13 major rivers, LiDAR-based survey of degraded forest areas for soil moisture conservation projects, and the launch of National Transit Portal to facilitate smooth movement of forest produce.

He also stated that the government is working towards Project Lion, which will entail habitat development, engage modern technologies in lion management and address the issues of disease in lions and its associated species through advanced research and veterinary care.

The project will also address human-wildlife conflict and will be inclusive involving local communities living in the vicinity of lions’ landscape and will also provide livelihood opportunities.

The study given to ICFRE for river rejuvenation of 13 major rivers will look at promoting forestry along river, increasing ground water recharge and reducing erosion. The LiDAR technology, meanwhile, is an airborne remote sensing method which will assist in identification of the degraded land for construction of soil and water conservation structures.

During the meeting, the states gave their status of preparedness for the implementation of various programmes initiated by the ministry.

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