Green India Mission (GIM)
National Mission for a Green India or the commonly called Green India Mission (GIM), is one of the eight Missions outlined under India’s action plan for addressing the challenge of climate change -the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). GIM, launched in February 2014, is aimed at protecting, restoring and enhancing India’s diminishing forest cover and responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures.
The mission has the broad objective of both increasing the forest and tree cover by 5 million ha, as well as increasing the quality of the existing forest and tree cover in another 5 million ha of forest/ non forest lands in 10 years. The Mission proposes a holistic view of greening and focuses not on carbon sequestration targets alone, but also, on multiple ecosystem services, especially, biodiversity, water, biomass etc., along with provisioning services like fuel, fodder, timber and non-timber forest produces. It will also increase options of forest based livelihood of households living in the fringe of those landscapes where the Mission is implemented.
Generally a "mission mode" project implies a project that has clearly defined objectives, scopes, implementation timelines and milestones, as well as measurable outcomes and service levels.
The Mission goals are as listed below:
- To increase forest/tree cover to the extent of 5 million hectares (mha) and improve quality of forest/tree cover on another 5 mha of forest/non-forest lands; Separate sub-targets exists for different forest types and ecosystems (eg. Wetland, grassland, dense forest etc.). For instance, GIM aims at:
- Improvement in quality of forest cover and ecosystem services of forests /non-forests, including moderately dense, open forests, degraded grassland and wetlands (5 m ha). The sub-targets are:
- Moderately dense forest cover, but showing degradation: 1.5 m ha
- Eco-restoration of degraded open forests: 3 m ha
- Restoration of Grasslands: 0.4 m ha
- Restoration of Wetlands: 0.10 m ha
- Eco-restoration/afforestation of scrub, shifting cultivation areas, cold deserts, mangroves, ravines and abandoned mining areas (1.8 m ha) with separate sub –targets for each one of those.
- Improvement in forest and tree cover in urban/peri-urban lands (0.20 m ha)
- Improvement in forest and tree cover on marginal agricultural lands/fallows and other non-forest lands under agro-forestry / social forestry (3 m ha)
- To improve/enhance eco-system services like carbon sequestration and storage (in forests and other ecosystems), hydrological services and biodiversity; along with provisioning services like fuel, fodder, and timber and non-timber forest produces (Minor forest produces or MFPs) etc which are expected to result from the treatment of 10 m ha;
- To increase forest based livelihood income for about 3 million households in and around these forest areas; and
- Enhanced annual CO2 sequestration by 50 to 60 million tonnes in the year 2020.
Approach of GIM
It envisages a holistic view of greening (instead of just planting trees or doing plantations) and focuses on multiple ecosystem services, especially, biodiversity, water, biomass, preserving mangroves, wetlands, critical habitats etc. along with carbon sequestration as a co-benefit.
It also aims at convergence with complementary schemes and programmes for better coordination in developing forests and their fringe areas in a holistic and sustainable manner. For instance, Green India mission has issued the Convergence Guidelines of GIM with the Rural employment Guarantee Scheme –Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Convergence guidelines of GIM with Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for compensatory afforestation have been framed to ensure a synergized approach thereby contributing to ecological security in the context of climate change, which is required to address the challenges being faced in environment, forest and wildlife sectors. Efforts are on to finalize convergence guidelines with other complimentary schemes to set out the approach for coordination at field level.
It acknowledges the influence and primacy that forests have on environmental amelioration though climate change mitigation, food security, water security, biodiversity conservation and livelihood security of forest dependent communities.
This mission has adopted an integrated cross-sectoral approach as it will be implemented on both public as well as private lands with a key role of the local communities in planning, decision making, implementation and monitoring. Thus the mission hinges on decentralized participatory approach, involving grass root level organizations and community in planning, decision making, implementation and monitoring with emphasis on landscape approach.
One of the key differences of the Mission with conventional afforestation program relates to Mission's emphasis on the landscape approach. Landscapes as large contiguous areas of forest /non forest land, at different scale /levels provide unique opportunity to meet targets for both, National and State Forest policy. While the contiguous area of forests in different density class (e.g. moderately dense and open/ scrub) provide opportunity for improving the quality of the forest cover; the non-forest areas provide opportunity for increasing the forest cover.
Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had launched a related project in January, 1985 to cover 5 m ha of waste land to be brought under green cover every year. However, country fell short of achieving this ambitious objective.
With the emergence of United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Indian Government’s stand on climate change has been in accordance with the Principles of Equity and the Common but Differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities as enshrined in the UNFCCC. The current approach to climate change is fully anchored in the UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol and the Bali Action Plan. India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) was released on 30 June 2008 to outline India’s strategy to meet the challenge of Climate Change and enhance the ecological sustainability of India’s development path. The NAPCC consist of 8 missions in specific areas i.e. Solar Energy, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Habitat, Water, Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system, Green India, Sustainable Agriculture and Strategic knowledge for Climate Change which include assessment of the impact of climate change and actions needed to address climate change.
Thus the National Mission for a Green India or GIM was included as one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and was accordingly launched on 24 February 2010.
The Draft Green India Mission document was put on website for comments on 23 May 2010. Seven Regional Consultations were organized over a month and a half from 10 June 2010 to 15 July 2010 in Guwahati, Dehradun, Pune, Bhopal, Jaipur, Vizag and Mysore. Over 1450 people participated in the consultations and thousands of mails were received from Panchayats, community groups, academia, researchers, schools, government agencies, private sector, media and concerned citizens.
The revised document was approved by the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change with certain observations. The Mission is implemented over the twelfth and thirteen five year plans and the year 2011-12 was declared as the preparatory year. Green India Mission (GIM) is an unusual Mission which has a preparatory phase for one year. Other 7 Missions under India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change announced by the Prime Minister are ongoing programmes which are taken forward.
Allocation of ₹ 50 crore was set aside from the National Clean Energy Fund for the preparatory year 2011-12 which was released to 21 States for 71 landscapes involving 708 villages. The interventions in the preparatory year included micro planning, entry point activities, nursery development, landscape identification awareness and outreach, etc.
GIM was finally approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in February 2014 with the projected cost of Rs.13,000 crores during the 12th Plan period and one year spill over in 13th Plan. This includes Rs. 2,000 crores from 12th Plan Outlay, Rs.400 crores from 13th Finance Commission grant, and convergence with CAMPA to the tune of Rs. 6000 crores and MGNREGS to the tune of Rs. 4000 crores.
The physical targets and financial outlay’s during the Twelfth Plan, as approved by the Expenditure Finance Commission (EFC) are as below:
|Physical Target: Number of Landscapes supported for:
Governance and Implementation of GIM
At the national level, the Mission is set up as an autonomous Society under the aegis of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to facilitate smooth implementation of the Mission.
The Governing Council of the Society, Chaired by the Minister for Environment and Forests, Government of India and drawing upon cross-sectoral representation, will provide overall guidance.
The National Executive Council (NEC) chaired by the Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forest has the overall responsibility for the Mission. NEC approves the Perspective Plans & Annual Plan of Operations (APOs) submitted by States.
There is a Mission Directorate at the National level with the Mission Director as its CEO with overall accountability for the Mission deliverables and is supported by a team of experts and secretarial staff.
A revamped State Forest Development Agency will act as the State Mission Directorate and will be chaired by the Chief Minister/ Forest Minister. It will solicit cross-sectoral representation and will guide the Mission activities at the State level.
At District level, the Mission implementation is facilitated by revamped Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) which is linked with District Planning Committee. The Gram Sabha, and the various Committees set up by it, are the key institutions for planning and implementation at the village level. A federation of these Committees along with a federation of self-help groups (SHGs)/ User Groups (UGs) at the cluster level are represented in the revamped FDA at the district level. In urban areas, the ward level committees Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) linked to Municipality/Municipal Corporations facilitate planning and implementation under the Mission.
The Mission has the potential to develop about one lakh skilled local community youth who would provide support in community based forest conservation, community livelihood enhancement and change monitoring, etc. These youth as Green Volunteers will act as a bridge between the community and the implementing agencies such as Forest Department.
Annual Performance of GIM may be seen from the Results Framework Document of the Ministry of Environment and Forest published for the various years.
- Mission Document
- Implementation Guidelines
- Annual Plan & Outcome Budget 2015 of Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India