Environment Ministry notifies draft rules of Compensatory Afforestation Act

Environment Ministry notifies draft rules of Compensatory Afforestation Act

Environment Ministry notifies draft rules of Compensatory Afforestation Act

The Environment Ministry has notified the draft rules of the Compensatory Afforestation Act.

The act seeks to ensure expeditious utilisation of amounts realised in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose.

Elaborating on the manner of the utilisation of the net present value (NPV)and penal net present value deposited in the state fund, the draft rules said, "80 per cent of the monies received towards NPV and penal net present value in the state fund in a fiscal will be used for 12 activities for forest and wildlife management..."

The activities include assisted natural regeneration, artificial regeneration (by plantations), silvicultural operations in forests, protection of plantations and forests, pest and disease control in forest and forest fire prevention and control operations, the draft rules read.

They also include soil and moisture conservation in the forest, improvement of wildlife habitat, relocation of villages from protected areas, planting and rejuvenation of forest cover on non-forest land falling in wildlife corridors, establishment, operation and maintenance of animal rescue centre and veterinary treatment facilities for wild animals, among others.

The remaining 20 per cent of the NPV will be utilised for strengthening the forest and wildlife-related infrastructure, capacity building of the personnel of state forest departments and other associated agencies and organisations, according to the draft rules.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had recently questioned the Centre's delay in making the draft rules for the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act 2016 and had said it posed a "serious threat" to the rights and livelihoods of tribals and forest dwellers.

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