Reiterating the Government’s commitment to afforestation and increasing the green cover, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that for a restructured National Bamboo Mission, an outlay of Rs. 1290 crore has been made to promote bamboo sector in a holistic manner. Recently, the Government has also removed bamboo grown outside forest areas from the definition of trees. He said that Rs. 160 crore have been earmarked for the Green India Mission (National Afforestation Programme), which marks an increase of 48.8% over the previous allocation. Briefing mediapersons on the increase in allocations made to the environment sector in Budget 2018-19 here today, the Minister added that Green India Mission will contribute to the Nationally Determined Contribution for the period 2021-2030 to intensify the efforts for achieving our Nationally Contribution on Forestry to sequester additional 2.5 to 3.0 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the forestry sector by the year 2030.This year’s Budget has also allocated Rs. 67.50 crore for Eco-Task Force, which is a whopping 125 % increase”, Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated.
The Minister also pointed out that an initiative has been drawn up to tackle the challenges posed by Climate Change. The plan envisages planting 1000 crore saplings over a period of 10 years, from 2021 to 2030. The plantation will be carried out in different parts of the country under programmes like CAMPA, Green India Mission, National Afforestation Programme, as well as plantation along highways and railway tracks. Highlighting the importance of spreading awareness on environmental issues, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the total budget allocation for the Environmental Information Systems (ENVIS) in Budget 2018-19 is Rs. 24 crore, which marks a 33% increase compared to 2017-18, out of which the training courses under Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP), will be funded, apart from the regular functions of the ENVIS Centres located across the country. GSDP is a recent initiative under the ENVIS scheme for skilling the youth in the country. An estimated 80,000 people under various skilling courses will be trained during 2018-19. The Minister added that a total of 5 lakh 60 thousand people will be imparted training between 2018-19 and 2020-21.