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US, India Launch New Initiative To Increase Tree Coverage In India

The new USD 25 million programme will bring together farmers, companies, and private institutions in India to rapidly expand tree coverage outside of traditional forests by 28 lakh hectares

US, India Launch New Initiative To Increase Tree Coverage In India
The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, the Government of India and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), announced the launch of a new program, "Trees Outside Forests in India"

New Delhi: US and India announced a new initiative to increase tree coverage outside of forest lands in India in a bid to support global climate change mitigation and adaptation goals. “The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, the Government of India and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), on September 8, 2022, announced the launch of a new program, “Trees Outside Forests in India,” US Embassy in India said. The move will enhance carbon sequestration, support local communities, and strengthen the climate resilience of agriculture.

The new USD 25 million programme will bring together farmers, companies, and private institutions in India to rapidly expand tree coverage outside of traditional forests by 28 lakh hectares. Through agroforestry, or integrating trees into farming systems, the program will improve the resilience of farming systems while increasing the income of farmers.

The program will also use innovative financing models and leverage India’s private sector to promote tree-based enterprises, helping to create sustainable markets and improve rural economies and livelihoods, with the potential to benefit more than 13 million people.

Also Read: India Can Achieve 50 Per Cent Renewable Energy By 2030: Power Minister RK Singh

Implemented by a consortium led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF), the program will be implemented in seven states including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.

Announcing the launch, the Secretary for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Leena Nandan, said,

India and the U.S. are firmly committed to working closely in many areas including the forestry sector. At the global level, India is playing a prominent role in forming and shaping affirmative responses to the challenges faced by the forest and environment sector. India has undertaken rapid economic growth while successfully conserving and enhancing its forest resources and would continue to do so through strategic planning and focused implementation.

Highlighting the US-India cooperation on climate change and forestry, the US Charge d’Affaires Patricia A. Lacina, said,

As one of the world’s largest economies and a global leader in science and innovation, India plays a critical role in helping solve the climate crisis. This new program builds on the enduring U.S.-India partnership to tackle the climate crisis by enhancing carbon sequestration and bolstering resilience in the face of climate threats. India’s achievements on these issues can provide models for the world.

Also Read: Tackling Inequality Key To Climate Fight: Study

USAID’s forestry activities in India support important priorities of the US and Indian governments, contributing to the Forestry Pillar of the Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue in support of the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership. This new program builds on the enduring US-India partnership to tackle the climate crisis and bolster resilience in the face of climate threats and extreme weather events, as per the US Embassy here.

In addition to safeguarding India’s forests and other critical ecosystems, USAID is working with India to implement its ambitious emissions reduction measures by transitioning to renewable energy and adapting ongoing activities, such as health and disaster risk reduction, to the reality of today’s climate crisis.

Also Read: Rivers Worldwide Are Running Dry – Here’s Why And What We Can Do About It

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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