Enhancement of carbon sinks

Environment, Forest and Climate Change

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 849 TO BE ANSWERED ON 10.02.2020 Enhancement of carbon sinks 849. DR. AMAR PATNAIK: Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state: (a) whether Government has taken any measure or has any proposal pending on the enhancement of carbon sinks in the country; (b) if so, the details thereof; (c) if not, the reasons therefor; and (d) whether carbon sinks have been factored into the country’s emission reduction obligations, if so, the details thereof? ANSWER MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE (SHRI BABUL SUPRIYO) (a)to (c) Forests and trees outside forests also serve ascarbon sinks.However, India holds that forests and trees outside forests are not mere carbon sinks but providers of essential ecosystem services, for which they have always been valued. Enhancement of forest and tree cover is carried out by the Central and the State Governments on continuous basis. Forest and tree cover increased from 24.39% of the total geographical area as reported in India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 to 24.56% as reported in ISFR 2019. One of the missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is National Mission on Green India which aims to enhance ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and storage in forests and other ecosystems. In addition, various activities and schemes are being implementedwhich enhance carbon sinks in the country throughafforestation and reforestation activities in forest as well as non-forest areas. These schemes and activities include National Afforestation Programme, activities under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, National Bamboo Mission,National Horticulture Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Integrated Watershed Management Programme, Green Highway Policy and Catchment Area Rehabilitation under NamamiGange Scheme. In addition, thirty three States/Union Territories (UTs) have prepared their State Action Plan on Climate Change in line with NAPCC taking into account State’s/UT’s specific issues relating to climate change including forests. (d) India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under Paris Agreement submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) pertain to the period 2021-2030. One of the goals under NDC is to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.The other goal indicated in our NDC is reduction in emission intensity of GDP (not absolute carbon emissions) by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 level.