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Project Dolphin to be launched in a fortnight: Prakash Javadekar

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New Delhi, Aug 18: Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has said that 80 per cent of CAMPA funds must be used for plantation drives and afforestation, while the rest is to be used for capacity building.

Prakash Javadekar

The Union minister also announced that Project Dolphin, which found space in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech, will be launched by the ministry in a fortnight.

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Chairing a meeting attended by Arunachal Pradesh and Goa chief ministers, the deputy chief ministers and 24 forests ministers from across the country, the Union minister said the Finance Commission had increased the forest-based devolution of funds from 7 per cent to 10 per cent.

"This is a very significant move. Now states will receive 10 per cent of devolution of funds for their forest cover. One of my concerns is that in states the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) funds are being used to pay salaries of forest officials or infrastructure acquisition like vehicles etc," Javadekar said.

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    "I have directed that 80 per cent of the CAMPA funds have to mandatorily be used for plantation drives and afforestation alone while the rest is to be used for capacity building. Each state needs to have a separate budget that will take care of their other needs, and the devolution will take place according to the forest cover and the plans put into place by the states," the Union minister said, adding that his ministry is focused on increasing tree cover for "maximum carbon stock".

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    The minister said the Centre in August 2019 had released CAMPA funds worth Rs 47,436 crore for afforestation to various states. He said his ministry is also going to announce implementation of the School Nursery Scheme shortly.

    He also stated that the government is working towards Project Lion, which will entail habitat development, engage modern technologies in lion management and address the issues of disease in lions and its associated species through advanced research and veterinary care.

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