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Report to the people on environment and Forests 2009–2010, http://moef.nic.in  
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Need for the Report

It has been the continued endeavour of the Ministry of Environment and Forests to strengthen the policy and regulatory frameworks that govern the environment and forests of the country. Over the last one year, various measures both institutional as well as legislative, have been initiated or given a renewed impetus. Numerous initiatives have moved from the stage of concept to implementation, while many other new concepts have been initiated. The legislative bedrock of the work of the Ministry is based on three laws: the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 and the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. These three flagship laws are comprehensive umbrella legislations that provide the Ministry with the requisite authority to undertake all manner of conservation and protection actions.

 

 Mandate of the Ministry 

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is the nodal agency in the administrative structure of the Central Government for the planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of India’s environmental and forestry-related policies and programmes.

The broad objectives of the Ministry are: 

 

  •  Conservation and survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife;  
  •  Prevention and control of pollution; 
  •  Afforestation and regeneration of degraded areas; 
  •  Protection of the environment; and 
  •  Ensuring the welfare of animals. 

 

 

In achieving these objectives, the Ministry is guided by the principle of sustainable development and enhancement of human well-being. These objectives are well supported by a set of legislative and regulatory measures, aimed at the preservation, conservation and protection of the environment. Besides the legislative measures, the National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992; National Forest Policy, 1988; and the National Environment Policy, 2006 also guide the Ministry’s work.  The Ministry also serves as the nodal agency for international cooperation on matters pertaining to environment and natural resource conservation. 

 

Key achievements in 2009/10 

In the year 2009–10, a number of initiatives have been launched or given renewed impetus. Some salient initiatives are described below.

 

 Climate Change

1. Announced India’s intent to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 20%–25% between 2005 and 2020, thus making a major contribution to mitigating climate change. 

2. Expert Group on Low Carbon Strategy for Inclusive Growth established/set-up under the Planning Commission to develop a roadmap for low-carbon development.

3. Hosted Delhi high level conference on ‘Climate Change: Technology Development and Transfer’, that adopted the ‘Delhi Declaration’, which became a key input in the international climate negotiations.

4. Released India’s GHG Emissions profile—a summary of five independent studies—which show that India will remain a low-emission economy even in the year 2030.

5. Convened Ministerial Meeting of BASIC countries – Brazil, South Africa, China and India—to discuss collaboration in climate change negotiations and broader collaboration.

6. Launched the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA), in October 2009, as a network-based programme to make science, particularly the ‘3 Ms’—Measuring, Modelling and Monitoring—the essence of our policy-making in the climate change space.  It brings together over 120 institutions and over 220 scientists from across the country.

 

Compensatory Afforestation Management (CAMPA)

The Supreme Court directed creation of a Compensatory Afforestation Fund, in which all funds received from user agencies towards compensatory afforestation were to be deposited. However for seven years between 2002 and 2009 the fund could not be accessed by any of the states because of a disagreement on the manner of its disbursement:

1. To resolve the deadlock the MoEF moved the Supreme Court to give effect to an adhoc CAMPA authority that would in the interim period monitor discharge and monitor the use of funds. It was agreed that ultimately this body would give over control to the state CAMPAs.

2. By the end of January 2010, following national level sessions on the disbursement and use of CAMPA, 22 states/UTs have operationalised their accounts.  

3. Out of the received amounts of approximately 13,000 crore in the ad hoc CAMPA, the state CAMPAs have so far been allocated approximately Rs 1000 crore.

 

Mission Clean Ganga

1. The ‘Mission Clean Ganga’ Initiative was launched with the first meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) held on 5 October 2009 under the chairmanship of Prime Minister. It was decided that under ‘Mission Clean Ganga’, no untreated municipal sewage and industrial effluents will flow into the river Ganga by year 2020. The allocation for the NGRBA was doubled to Rs 500 crore for the financial year 2010-11.

2. New projects worth Rs 1394.11 crore were cleared, including projects worth Uttar Pradesh (Rs 800 crore), Bihar (Rs 440 crore), West Bengal (Rs 105 crore) and Uttarakhand (Rs 45 crore). These include projects for development of sewer networks, sewage treatment plants and sewage pumping stations, electric crematoria, community toilets, development of river fronts, resuscitation of canals, and public campaigns.

3. These measures signify the importance and urgency that Ministry is placing on the River Ganga, which has such an important place in our culture, and which is so central to the livelihoods of millions of our people. 

4. In addition to these measures, the Ministry is  negotiating a major loan of about US$ 1 billion with the World Bank for Ganga cleaning, which is progressing on track.

 

 

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