Welspun Energy Collaborates with ICFRE for Increasing India’s Forest Cover


INDIACSR News Network

MUMBAI:  The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) and Forest Research Institute Dehradun (FRI) in collaboration with Welspun Energy Ltd. (WEL), India’s foremost renewable energy generator, organized a workshop titled ‘Innovation for Forest Carbon Finance in India’ on 28th May 2013 at FRI’s Dehradun campus. Keeping the role of the carbon markets and forestry as the centre of discussion, representatives of USAID, TERI, Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy and Institute of Green Economy were among those who were present.

Welspun Energy's 15MW Solar PV Power project commissioned in Phalodi, Jodhpur District, RajasthanThe workshop aimed to deliberate and achieve a broader and inclusive consensus by inviting leading minds from research institutes, scientists, representatives of Industry and State and Central Government. Through the workshop WEL and ICFRE are aiming to suggest robust policy recommendations to the Government of India for increasing forest cover promoting industrial plantation in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

Dr. Bahuguna, D.G. ICFRE in his inaugural address had stressed that “India needs innovations in Climate Change mitigation and adaptation strategy. About 2 lakhs villages in the country are situated around fringe forests. Innovations are needed on how to involve our communities and research organisations to play a major role in Climate Change mitigation and adaptation. There is need to aware people at grass root level about mitigation and adapataion of climate change” .

Welspun Energy is committed to environment sustainability and advancing action for mitigating climate change. During the workshop WEL proposed a solution for the disappearing forests of India through its white paper on Grow Forest Mechanism/Certificate (GFC).

Grow Forest Mechanism
The Grow Forest Mechanism (GFM) will address the issues of climate change and provide an economically feasible & sustainable strategy through social inclusion and environment sustainability. Our initiative seeks for a possible solution for the development of the degraded forest lands for environmental sustainability.

The most promising concept of the Grow Forest Mechanism is the involvement of private sector organizations to reforest and maintain degraded forest land patches. These organizations will be rewarded with an economic instrument viz. Grow Forest Certificate (GFC) which is similar to the tradable Certified Emission Reduction (CER). GFCs shall be awarded by the local Government Forest Ministries after scrutinizing and evaluating the redevelopment of the forest lands over a period of five years, based on the state of the forest.

“Today Forest carbon accounts for more than 20% of global voluntary market, though small in volume. Voluntary carbon markets have allowed the emergence of innovative tools and compliance-grade forest carbon offset supply. But the demand side needs to be addressed, as voluntary market is not sufficient to drive growth of forest carbon. Governments and business should interact on the issue of voluntary action around climate change mitigation.” said Dr. P.P. Bhojvaid Director FRI.

Speaking on the partnership and GFC, Mr. Vineet Mittal, Co-Founder & Managing Director Welspun Energy commented “ICFRE is one of the best institutions in the country in forest research and widespread implementation of developed technologies. It has been a pleasure to partner with them. Our concept offers an economically feasible and sustainable strategy to increase India’s forest cover. This initiative seeks a possible solution for the development of the degraded forest lands for environmental sustainability. The concept aims towards incentivizing the increase in forest canopy cover through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.”

India needs domestic offset schemes to engage private sector players. Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) is one such initiative has been taken in Energy sector. The failure of CDM Forestry has led to the success of voluntary schemes.
In the current framework, the developers seeking diversion of forest land need to offer alternate revenue land to concerned forest departments, in lieu of forest land being diverted. This has resulted in only quantitative conservation of forest land. Policy makers need to develop a sustainable solution wherein the forest conservation activities result in sustaining and augmenting forest cover in both quantitative and qualitative manner i.e. maintaining and improving the quality of forest along with its coverage.

Welspun Energy Ltd. (WEL) is a leading independent developer of renewable energy projects with a vision of commissioning 1.75 GW of solar & wind projects. Presently Welspun Energy has built up more than 300 MW clean energy capacity on-ground, of this 111 MW clean energy projects are operational.

The clean energy generator has time & again demonstrated its ability to design, engineer and build renewable projects with high performance outputs and low cost – delivery period. Part of the US$ 3.5 billion Welspun group, WEL draws on the know-how of its specialized team of scientists and engineers to design projects by employing cutting edge technologies. It also holds the distinction of winning India’s largest solar project of 151 MW. Through its strong commitment to triple bottom line, WEL is working for underserved communities in areas of education, empowerment & healthcare. It is presently mitigating over 224,694 tones of CO2 emissions annually.

Forest Research Institute Dehradun
Forest Research Institute (FRI) Dehradun, is a premier institution under the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE). The Institute’s history is vertually synonymous with the evolution and development of scientific forestry, not only in India, but over the entire Indian sub-continent. The Institute caters, in particular, to the research needs of the Indo-Gangetic plains of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Western Uttar Pradesh, as Well as the U.P. Himalayas. Forestry research at the FRI is organized under fourteen divisions. Set in a lush green estate spread over 450 hectares, with the outer Himalaya forming its back drop, the Institute’s main building is an impressive edifice, marrying Greco-Roman and Colonial styles of architecture, with a plinth area of 2.5 equipped laboratories, library, herbarium, arboreta, printing press and experimental field areas for conducting forestry research, quite in keeping with the best of its kind anywhere in the world.

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