The national Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) strategy for India prepared by Indian Council of Forestry and Education, Dehradun for the Government was released in New Delhi by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries’ (collectively known as REDD+) aims to achieve climate change mitigation by incentivising forest conservation. The Paris agreement on climate change also recognises the role of forests in climate change mitigation and calls upon the party countries to take action to implement and support REDD+.
Speaking on the occasion of release of India’s national strategy of REDD+ Vardhan said that India is committed to Paris agreement on climate change. In its nationally determined contribution to the Paris agreement, India has communicated that it will capture 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide through additional efforts. India’s national REDD+ strategy is one of the tools to further supplement India’s commitment to the Paris agreement. India’s first biennial update report to UNFCCC reveals that forests in India capture about 12 per cent of India’s total GHG emission. Thus, forestry sector in India is making positive contribution for climate change mitigation.
He further stressed that well-being of forests is essential for healthy environment, sustainable livelihood of local communities and also for conservation of biodiversity. REDD+ attracts highest attention in developing country like India where local communities and forest dwelling tribal communities have high dependency on forests for their livelihoods. The strategy will support empowerment of youth cadres as community foresters to lead the charge at the local level. Green skill development programme for imparting forestry related specialised skill will also be implemented.
The union minister also appreciated the work of the expert committee members and invited experts for their contribution in preparing this national REDD+ strategy.
Officials informed that the strategy builds upon existing national circumstances which have been updated in line with India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, Green India Mission and India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to UNFCCC. The strategy when implemented in its right earnest will be addressing drivers of deforestation, forest degradation and also developing a road map for enhancement of forest carbon stocks and achieving sustainable management of forests through REDD+ actions. The national REDD+ strategy will soon be communicated to the UNFCCC.