National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board:
The National Afforestation and Eco- Development Board (NAEB) was set up in August 1992 for promoting afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country.
The NAEB has evolved specific schemes to promote afforestation and management strategies, which help the States in developing specific afforestation and eco-development packages for augmenting biomass production through a participatory planning process of Joint Forest Management (JFM).
National Afforestation Programme through Community Participation:
Keeping in view the objectives of achieving 25 per cent tree/forest covers as part of the monitorable target set out for the Tenth Five-Year Plan, the Ministry has launched a very ambitious afforestation programme under NAEB with people’s involvement for the sustainable management of the country’s forests.
Under this programme, all afforestation schemes of the Ministry have been brought under a single National Afforestation Programme being implemented through decentralised Forest Development Agencies (FDA) set up at the forest division level. The FDAs are a confederation of Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) at the village level to provide an organic link between the forest departments and the grass-root level communities.
National Action Programme to Combat Desertification:
India is a party to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Ministry of Environment and Forests is the National Coordinating Agency for the implementation of the UNCCD in the country. As an affected party, a 20-year comprehensive National Action Programme (NAP) to combat desertification in the country has been prepared.
Under UNCCD, a Regional Action Programme for Asian Countries has been formulated to strengthen the existing capacity of the member country parties and to network with each other for effective measures to combat desertification. Six Thematic Programme Network (TPN) has been identified for this purpose. India is host country for TPN-2 “Agro-forest and Soil Conservation in Arid, Semi-arid and dry Sub-humid Areas.” The Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI). Jodhpur has been identified as National Task Manager.
India is participating actively in TPN-1 “Desertification Monitoring and Assessment”. A pilot project is under progress through the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Space Application Centre, and Ahmedabad at a cost of Rs. 1.39 crore. India has also joined the TPN-4 “Water Resources Management for Agriculture in Arid, Semi-arid and Dry Sub-humid Area”.
The Ministry of Water Resources has been identified as National Task Manager for TPN-4 while TPN- 3 on “Range and Pasture Management” has just been launched with Iran as host country. The remaining TPNs, i.e., TPN 5 “Drought Preparedness and Mitigation in the Context of Climate Change’ and TPN-6 “Strengthening Planning Capacities for Drought Management and Controlling Desertification” are yet to be launched.
Bio-Diversity Action Plan:
An on-going national programme is attempting to reach out of tens thousands of people in the making of a new vision and strategy related to environment and development. This is the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP).
Convention on Biological Diversity:
Among the various international treaties and pacts related to biological diversity, the latest and most comprehensive being the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). The CBD was signed at the Earth summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 by 155 nation states and came into force in 1993.
This legal binding treaty obliges ratifying countries to protect biodiversity to move towards the sustainable use of biological resources and to ensure that benefits from such use are shared equitably across local regional, national and global societies. India ratified this convention in 1994.
National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP):
NBSAP had also been launched in January 2000 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. It is an attempt towards truly operationalising the much abused word in the development sector called ‘participation’. The NBSAP entails the preparation of action plans at five levels:
i. About 20 substate sites ranging from a village like Nahin Kalan in Uttranchal to a protected area like the Simplipal Tiger Reserves in Orissa to the biodiversity rich west Garo hills in Meghalaya.
ii. All 33 states and Union territories of India.
iii. 10 interstate ecoregions, cutting across state.
iv. 13 national themes
v. A National Strategy and Plan building on all of the above.