Green India Mission (GIM) - National Mission for a Green India

Green India mission is one of the missions that come under the umbrella of NAPCC. Every country has an obligation to arrest the downward spiral of climate change. Hence India as a responsible growing global power, India took up the responsibility of reducing the deleterious effects of climate change by launching different missions under NAPCC. Green India Mission is one of them. It was launched in 2014. The primary aim is to protect, restore and enhance India’s diminishing forest cover. This topic would be of importance in the IAS Exam for both Prelims and Mains.

Objectives of Green India Mission (GIM)

  1. Growth in forest or tree cover to 5 million hectares (mha) and increase the quality of forest cover in another 5 million hectares of forest or non-forest lands. There are separate sub-targets for a variety of forests and its ecosystems namely, grassland, dense forest, wetland etc.
  2. Increase the quality of degrading moderately dense forests – 1.5 million hectares (ha).
  3. Ecologically restore open forests which are being degraded – 3 million hectares (ha)
  4. Grasslands revival – 0.4 million hectares
  5. Wetlands revival – 0.10 million hectares
  6. Ecological restoration of shifting cultivation areas, mangroves, scrub, ravines, cold deserts, & abandoned mining areas – 1.8 million hectares with different sub-targets.
  7. Increase in forest cover in urban areas and its outskirts – 0.20 million hectares.
  8. Increase in forest and tree cover on marginal agricultural lands/fallows and other non-forest lands which comes under agroforestry – 3 million hectares.
  9. Increase forest-based livelihood income for about 3 million households in and around these forest areas.
  10. Increase Carbon Dioxide sequestration to a range of 50 to 60 million tonnes by 2020.

Implementation of Green India Mission (GIM)

  1. At the national level implementation is done by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
  2. The State Forest Development Agency will guide the mission at the state level.
  3. At the district level, the implementation will be done by the Forest Development Agency.
  4. The gram sabha and various committees are the key institutions for planning and implementation at the village level.
  5. In urban areas, the ward level committees like Residents Welfare Association (RWA) linked to the municipality/municipal corporations facilitate planning and implementation under the mission.
  6. Potential to develop 1 lakh skilled local community youth who would provide support in community-based forest conservation. They would act as a bridge between the community and implementing agencies such as the forest department.

How is the Green India mission different from other NAPCC missions?

It has a preparatory phase of 1 year which is missing in other missions of NAPCC, mentioned in related links given at the end of the article.

What are the features of GIM preparatory phase

Rs 50 crores were set aside from the National Clean Energy Fund for the preparatory year 2011-12. The amount was released for 21 states for 71 landscapes involving 708 villages. The activities in the preparatory phase included micro-planning, entry point activities, nursery development, landscape identification awareness and outreach.

The physical targets and financial outlays during the twelfth plan, approved by Expenditure Finance Commission are as below:

Year Physical Target: Number of landscapes supported for

Financial Outlay

(Rs crore)

All activities Enabling activities Total
2013-14 4 38 42 60
2014-15 42 310 352 640
2015-16 45 352 397 700
2016-17 39 300 339 600
Total 130 1,000 1,130 2,000

Activities under Green India Mission will be implemented under the convergence with Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and National Afforestation Program (NAP).

The sharing pattern for plan outlay for centre and state would be 90:10 for the North Eastern States and 75:25 for the rest of the states respectively.

The Government plans to source the funds for GIM through the following

Source of Funds Amount (Rs crores)
Budgetary support from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Rs 2000
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA) Rs 6,000
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) Rs 4,000
Finance Commission Grants Rs 600
National Afforestation Programme Rs 400

Parliamentary Committee Report

As per the observation of the Parliamentary Committee, approximately Rs 47 crore was allocated during 2017-18, which the committee found to be woefully insufficient, to meet the committed liability of approximately Rs 89 crores for 2 years i.e. 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Forest cover in India currently stands at 75 million hectares. The Parliamentary Committee raises a concern on the targets set for carbon sequestration. As per Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of India, by the year 2020-30, the target to achieve is approximately 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon and to meet this target, India needs an additional forest cover to the tune of 30 million hectares. The Parliamentary report observes that till the year of 2016-17, the target set for the afforestation was approximately 51,000 hectares, which comprises a minuscule proportion of the requirement.

GIM was supposed to be launched in 2012, but owing to financial constraints the mission was launched after 3 years in 2015.

The report also observed that in a span of 2 years 2015-16 and 2016-17, the mission failed to meet its targets by 34%. The target was to cover approximately 67,000 hectares of land, with the green cover but only approximately 44,000 hectares of land could be provided with the green cover.

The other shortcoming noted in the report is that mission only aimed at increasing the number of trees without taking into account the weather conditions and soil conditions. It is imperative to plant trees which solve environmental problems not inflate the problem. Hence planting trees like eucalyptus is doing a disservice in solving the environmental crisis. Incompatible trees will only create a drought-like situation and thus stagnating and destroying the biodiversity of the concerned region.

The report also takes cognizance of the differentiation between forest and a plantation and how plantations can never be a substitute for forests, although plantation activities are undertaken with the noble cause of increasing the green cover. Forests are an amalgamation of a variety of plants and trees which come in varied sizes and shapes. The report also observes that the growth of forests happens naturally and can be attributed to the climatic conditions prevalent in that particular area.

The contributions of plantations come in the form of economic value associated with timber, whereas the most important ecological factors like soil erosion prevention, increasing biodiversity can only happen with the assistance of the forests.

The above details would be of help to candidates preparing for UPSC 2020 exams from the perspective of mains examination.

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