India requests for change in definition of forests for CDM proje

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New Delhi, Feb 21 (UNI) India has requested the CDM Executive Board set up under the Kyoto Protocol for a change in the definition of forest for the country so as to bring in small farmers in the CDM projects in the forestry sector.

The current definition of a forest for India is 30 per cent crown density in an area of 0.05 hectares with tree height of five meters.

''Now we want it to be changed to 15 per cent crown density with two metres height for trees, with the land area remaining at 0.05 hectares,'' newly elected Chairman of the CDM Executive Board R K Sethi, who is from India, said here.

He was talking to reporters after speaking at the two-day conference on 'Forestry Projects for Climate Change Mitigation in India' organised by the India Council of Forestry Research and Education(ICFRE), Dehradun.

The CDM or Clean Development Mechanism was designed under the Kyoto protocol to help developing countries reduce emission of greenhouse gases and to assist developed nations meet their emission reduction targets.

By mitigating their emissions, the developing countries could earn CERs or Certified Emission Reductions in different sectors which they could trade with developed nations.

It was arranged that the developed nations and their companies can pay the additional cost of clean technology to developing countries and get carbon reduction credits.

India has vast potential to earn carbon credit in the forestry sector, so the move to change the definition of forest has been made to enable small farmers take up afforestation on their agricultural land and earn carbon credits.

Explaining, Director General of the Institute Jagdish Kishwan said that under the changed definition, farmers would be able to grow dwarf varieties which took less time to grow, and earn them crabon credit fast.

Under the existing deinition of forests, it would be very difficult for small farmers to go in for afforestation, he said.

''We are discussing the whole gamut of issues, and the decision on our request would be taken at the next Conference of Parties(CoP) to the Kyoto Protocol,'' Mr Sethi said.

UNI NAZ Mir RK1842

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