In a major boost to promote afforestation and achieve the green objectives of the country, Union minister for environment, forests and climate change (MoEF&CC) Prakash Javadekar, on August 29, handed over Rs47,436 crore from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to various states in the presence of minister of state, MoEF&CC, Babul Supriyo. Lahkmen Rymbui, minister for Border Areas Development Department – Education Department – Forests & Environment Department, Government of Meghalaya, received Rs163.31 crore from Javadekar at a meeting of state forest ministers and authorities held in New Delhi.
At the meeting, the Union minister said, “The state Budget for forests shall remain unaffected and the funds being transferred will be in addition to the state Budgets. It is expected that all the states will utilize this fund towards forestry activities to achieve the objectives of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of increasing its forest and tree cover, which will create an additional carbon sink equivalent to 2.5 to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2030.” The minister emphasised that the CAMPA funds could not be used for payment of salaries, travel allowances, medical expenses and such others.
Underscoring the government’s efforts in preserving and improving the forest wealth and ecological security of the country, Javadekar said, “The important activities for which the fund will be utilised will be for compensatory afforestation, catchment area treatment, wildlife management, assisted natural regeneration, forest fire prevention and control operations, soil and moisture conservation works in forests, improvement of wildlife habitat, management of biological diversity and biological resources, research in forestry and monitoring of CAMPA works and so forth.”