To create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 million tons of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover is one of the significant components of Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of India that was submitted to the UNFCC in October 2015. The other two major components are to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35% by 2030 from the 2005 level and to achieve 40% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.
The expectations of government to increase forests/tree cover in 5 million Ha and to improve quality of forest on another 5 million Ha., of forest / non forest areas once completed will increase carbon sequestration by about 100 million tons CO2 equivalent every year. In a planned way the government has been taking up various afforestation activities both in government and private sectors including PSUs. Tree planting activity has become one of the best strategies to meet the challenge of climate change.
Joining the above movement to make the Country green and combat the challenges of climate change, the NTPC, one of the Maharatna companies which has already planted 20 million trees till date in and around its various projects has also planned to plant 10 million tress by 2026 in tune with INDC plan and strategy of government.
In order to fulfill the target of planting 5 lakhs tress in the State of Telangana over 10 years (2016-2026) the company has resolved to provide Rs.141 lakhs for this afforestation proposal. On 2nd September 2016, a MOU was also signed between Sri P.K.Jha Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Telangana (on behalf of State Forest department) and Mr. V.B. Fadnavis Regional Executive Director NTPC South (on behalf of NTPC) to take up afforestation in 35 hac of degraded forests in Kodangal range of Mehboobnagar Forest Division. The first installment of Rs. 28.38 lakhs has been recently released by the NTPC to DFO Mehboobnagar.
The initiative of NTPC to augment the efforts of Government in the matters of creation of additional carbon sink and combat other environmental challenges in sustainable manner is bound to ameliorate the existing degraded environment apart from acting as guiding model for other Corporations having inclination towards betterment of environment. Hope other Corporations also follow this new model of partnership with State Forest departments in the country.
About the Author: Mohan Chandra Pargaien is the Indian Forest Service Officer of Telangana Government working as Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. He can be reached at @MohanChandraPargaien and https://in.linkedin.com/in/mohan-chandra-pargaien-ifs-4264b279
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