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United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 19) and INDIA



  May 14, 2024

United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 19) and INDIA



Introduction

At the 19th United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 19) in New York, India highlighted its advancements in conservation and sustainable forest management. The forum, held from May 6 to 10, focused on global forest goals and sustainable development by 2030.

India's Achievements

- Increase in Forest Cover: Over the past 15 years, India has seen a consistent rise in forest cover.

- Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation: High priority is given to biodiversity and wildlife conservation, with an extensive network of over a thousand protected areas including wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, tiger reserves, and biosphere reserves.

Green Credit Programme

- Introduction: India introduced a green credit programme to incentivize tree planting and forest land restoration.

- Aim: Strengthen climate action initiatives.

- Launch: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the initiative at COP-28 as part of the government’s Lifestyle for Environment (LIFE) movement.

- Green Credit Rules, 2023: Notified in October 2023, these rules encourage voluntary environmental actions resulting in the issuance of green credits. The initial phase focuses on tree plantation on degraded lands, wastelands, and watershed areas managed by forest departments.

Species Conservation Initiatives

- Project Celebrations: Recent celebrations marked 50 years of Project Tiger and 30 years of Project Elephant, underscoring India's commitment to species conservation.

- International Big Cat Alliance: India created this alliance to protect and conserve the seven big cat species globally through collaborative international efforts.

India-Led Initiatives

- Dehradun Meeting: In October 2023, India hosted a country-led initiative under UNFF in Dehradun, attended by representatives from 40 countries and 20 international organizations. The forum discussed forest fire management and forest certification.

- Recommendations: India presented recommendations from this initiative at the New York meeting.

UNFF 19 Highlights

- Opening Remarks: Juliette Biao, director of the UNFF secretariat, highlighted the current global challenges, including natural disasters, climate change, conflict, poverty, and unemployment.

- UN Forest Framework: Delegates agreed to implement the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests (UNSPF), emphasizing the role of forests in sustainable development.

- Global Forest Goals: Countries committed to the first of the six Global Forest Goals, focusing on increasing forest cover and addressing land degradation.

Future Prospects

- Early-Warning Systems: Debates included the importance of early-warning systems and management practices like controlled burning.

- Support for Developing Countries: Emphasis on the specific challenges faced by developing countries and the need for tailored solutions.

Conclusion

India's participation in UNFF 19 showcased its commitment to sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation, and innovative initiatives like the green credit programme. These efforts align with global goals and highlight India's role in promoting environmental sustainability on the international stage.


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