Centre favourable to HP's Bio-Carbon Sub Project: Dhumal

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Shimla, Aug 14 (UNI) The Central Government has agreed in principle to accord host country approval to the Bio-Carbon Sub Project of the Himachal Pradesh Government, said Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

The Chief Minister while addressing a State Level Review Meeting of the Forest Department here today said the project was submitted under Mid Himalayan Watershed Development Project and was examined by the Designated National Authority of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The objective of the Bio Carbon, Clean Development Mechanism Project is to sequester green house gases through reforestation on degraded forests, community and private lands.

He said that it aims to develop cost effective ways to minimise climate change risks besides providing multiple benefits to poor farmers.

Mr Dhumal said that effective strategy should be chalked out to check forest fires and added that department should gear up its machinery for containing forest fires which occur mostly during summer months as forest wealth was very precious and state government was committed to protect it.

The Chief Minister said that there was about 6288 sq.km area available in the state which could be brought under forest cover and added that state government envisioned a target of bringing 15,000 hectare every year under the green cover.

"Aforestation is very essential keeping in view the grave effects of global warming. NGOs could also play a significant role in this area. A suitable policy could be chalked out after considering all aspects to associate the NGOs in plantation activities in the identified area, which could be brought under green cover," he said.

He also stressed upon strengthening pasture improvement activities and directed the department to focus upon the area.

He directed the department to take effective steps to check illicit felling of trees and to monitor the action being initiated against the guilty persons.

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