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How will the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill 2023



  Aug 07, 2023

Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023


Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023: Reasons for the Bill

Q1: Why was the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023 introduced?

A1: The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023 was introduced to address new challenges in forest conservation, ecological preservation, and tackling climate change at both national and international levels. The aim is to strengthen the country's commitment to preserving forests, biodiversity, and achieving carbon neutrality.
 

Q2: What are the key reasons behind proposing amendments to the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980?

A2: The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, faced challenges regarding its applicability in various types of lands, leading to different interpretations. The amendments seek to eliminate ambiguities and bring clarity about the Act's scope, promoting afforestation in non-forest lands, and enhancing forest productivity.
 

Q3: How will the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023 contribute to achieving the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets?

A3: The amendments aim to facilitate afforestation and create additional carbon sinks, contributing to the fulfilment of NDC targets. It encourages the plantation of trees outside forests and boosts green cover to mitigate climate change effects.
 

Q5:What are the implications of the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill on enhancing forest carbon stock and mitigating climate change impacts?

A5: The amendments aim to maintain or enhance the forest carbon stock to mitigate climate change impacts. By promoting afforestation and sustainable forest management, the bill contributes to carbon sequestration and emission reduction efforts.
 

Q6: How does the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023 align with India's international commitments on climate change and biodiversity preservation?

A6: The amendments align with India's commitment to the Paris Agreement and its NDCs. By focusing on carbon neutrality and sustainable forest management, the bill contributes to global efforts in combating climate change and conserving biodiversity.
 

Details of its link with Afforestation and NDCs:

The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023 aims to address concerns regarding the application of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, which has led to apprehensions among individuals and organizations about the potential implications of afforestation and plantation of trees outside of designated forest areas. These concerns arise from the fear of attracting the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, which requires prior permission from the Central Government for certain activities related to forest land.

As a result of these apprehensions, there has been a lack of desired momentum in promoting afforestation and tree plantation activities outside of forests. This has become a hindrance in achieving the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets set by India, specifically the goal of creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3.0 billion tons of CO2 equivalent. Afforestation and tree plantation efforts play a significant role in sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to combat climate change and contribute to the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To overcome these challenges and provide an impetus to afforestation and plantation initiatives, the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023, introduces amendments to the existing Act. The proposed changes seek to clarify the Act's applicability and provide exemptions for certain activities, including plantation of trees outside forests, especially on non-forest lands.

By addressing the concerns and providing clarity on the scope of the Act, the amendment aims to encourage and facilitate afforestation and plantation activities. This, in turn, will contribute to enhancing the green cover of the country and achieving the carbon sequestration targets outlined in the Nationally Determined Contributions, making India's efforts more effective in mitigating the impacts of climate change.


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