In News: The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is currently facing a shortage in land for compensatory afforestation.
- This issue of shortage of land for compensatory afforestation was raised by the agency in a letter to the Union Environment Ministry in March
- The DDA, in its letter to the Union Environment Ministry, cited paragraph 2.3 (v) of chapter 2 of the Handbook of Forest Conservation Act, which states: “In exceptional cases where non-forest land for CA is not available in the same State/UT in which the diversion of forest land is proposed, land for CA can be identified in any other State/UTs, preferably in neighboring State/UTs.”
Forest Conservation Act 1980
- Alarmed at India’s rapid deforestation and resulting environmental degradation, the Centre Government enacted the Forest (Conservation) Act in 1980.
- The Forest Conservation Act, 1980 stipulated that central permission is necessary to practice sustainable agro-forestry in forest areas. Violation or lack of permit was treated as a criminal offense.
- An Advisory Committee constituted under the Act advises the Centre on these approvals.
- The Act deals with the four categories of forests, namely reserved forests, village forests, protected forests, and private forests.
- Section 2 of the act lists four criteria where permission of the Central Government is required for any action of State regarding –
- Declaring that any reserved forest ceases to be reserved.
- Use of forestland for non-forest purposes.
- Leasing forest to any private person.
- Declaring that any forest land may be cleared of trees that have grown naturally in that land, for the purpose of using it for reforestation.
- Removing self-regenerating forest for the creation of plantation is also the non-forest purpose.
- Under the act compensatory afforestation has to be carried out for the diversion of forest land, or deemed forest land, for non-forest purposes.
- Agencies carrying out development works are required to compensate for the loss of “land by land” and loss of “trees by trees”.
- The land for CA has to be free of encroachments and legal tussles
Source: The Hindu