Plant Trees Sensibly

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plant trees

The Lok Sabha Compensatory Afforestation Fund bill, 2015, which will enable India to spend Rs. 40,000 crore (Rs. 6,000 crore a year) on afforestation was passed early May 2016. This is good news and comes at a time when India has committed a carbon sink of 2.5 billion in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, submitted to the UN body on climate change as part of the Paris Agreement.

As with most government spending, the challenge is to ensure the following:
a. That the administration cost does not exceed, say 5%
b. Sets up an independent monitoring and reporting agency with power over states as well
c. 50% is spend on reclaiming lost forests where native plants are replanted even if they take longer
d. Plant drought resistant trees in arid lands so that they can provide fodder and shade during summer
e. Focus on reclaiming and strengthening green cover around rivers and lakes
f. Add a revenue element to this body so that the cost can be recovered over a period of time
g. Focus on community driven and managed afforestation program where the success rate is much higher than government monitored effort

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