Assam undertakes massive afforestation drive to boost green cover

 The Assam government has embarked on mega plantation drives in different parts of the state while focussing on degraded land.

The Assam government has embarked on mega plantation drives in different parts of the state while focussing on degraded land.

The area covered under afforestation schemes such as Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC), Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and State Owned Priority Development (SoPD) of Social Forestry is 35,916 hectares.

It may not be out of place to mention here that over four crore seedlings have been distributed free of cost to the people against the target of 10 crore seedlings in mission mode under Pollution Free Assam.

Under phase two of APFBC, 12,500 hectares will be brought under plantation, besides 1,800 hectares under CAMPA.

Sahitya Manishi Upabans have come up in 24 districts of the state. Each Upaban showcases rich indigenous floral biodiversity of around 1,000 plant species having medicinal values in an area of three hectares.

“Afforestation taken up under different schemes has yielded a very positive impact on the state’s green cover. According to the latest India State Forest Report, 2019 published by the Forest Survey of India, Assam’s green cover has extended to 221.51 square km, which is quite a significant achievement,” state forest and environment minister, Parimal Suklabaidya said.

Another step towards strengthening conservation efforts is reconciliation of forest boundaries with the help of the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) and satellite imagery under CAMPA.

“It will be done in three phases starting with reconciling the forest boundaries of some of the divisions on a pilot basis,” a forest official privy to the development, said.

The department is among the front runners under SDG (sustainable development goal) 15: Life on Land in NITI Aayog’s SDG India Index 2020-2021.

Among the 17 broad based global goals (Sustainable Development Goals) with 232 indicators, Assam had a composite score of 78 on SDG 15 this year which is higher than the national average score of 66.

(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)

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