Merger of National Mission for a Green India with MGNREGA - Features

Merger of National Mission for a Green India with MGNREGA – Features

Question - Environment is a crucial concern for policymakers because it has far reaching implications for development and growth. Discuss the features and merger of the National Mission for a Green India with MGNREGA.

Government of India has taken the step of merging the National Mission for a Green India with MGNREGA.

About National Mission for a Green India

The objectives of this mission are as follows:

• Increased forest or tree cover
• Enhanced quality of forest cover in 2 to 8 million hectares
• Advances and improvements in services for ecosystems including hydrological services, biodiversity, enhanced forest based livelihood income of houses
• Better services for those dependent on the ecosystem for livelihood
• Enhancement of yearly Carbon dioxide sequestration

Implementation of the Mission

• Emphasis on a decentralised participatory approach
• Involvement of grass root organisations for planning, decision making, implementation and monitoring
• Gram Sabha as well as committees mandated by these including revamped JFMCs will supervise implementation at the level of the village
• Monitoring will be carried out by the FDA/Forest Development Agency under the Chair of elected representatives at district or division level
• State Forest Development Agency with a Steering Committee under the chairmanship by Chief Secretary
• Executive Committee chaired by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests at State/UT level
• Governing Council under the chairmanship of the Ministry of Environment and Forests
• National Executive Council under the chairmanship of the Secretary (Environment and Forest) and co-chaired by DGF and SS with the Mission Director as a member secretary monitoring at the national level
• Multidisciplinary team comprising government and NGOs will be carrying out planning and implementation at landscape/cluster unit level

Merger with MGNREGA

• National Mission for a Green India which has focused on afforestation of 10 million hectares of land over the next 10 years, has merged with MGNREGA in a bid to improve the forest cover of the country
• Modern technologies such as remote sensing will be used for monitoring the initiative’s progress on a consistent basis
• Environmental conservation activities such as water harvesting, planting of trees and farm forestry will now fall under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme/MGNREGA implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development
• Government also aims to ensure the bid to increase forest cover by 10 million hectares is being implemented by the Environment Ministry
• Convergence is also for strengthening the coordination at the level of the field for the development of forest cover and improvement of forest based livelihoods for close to 3 million households
• All types of lands will be eligible for afforestation as per this merger including:
- Village common lands
- Community lands
- Revenue wastelands
- Shifting cultivation areas
- Wetlands
- Private agricultural lands
• As per MGNREGA, afforestation activities such as pre-plantation, digging pits, watering and planting, fencing, protection activities and plant support as well as weeding, mulching and manuring will be carried out
• SFDA/State Forest Development Agencies will impart technical advice regarding the plant species suited for area, raising of nurseries and deliverance of required plant material to gram panchayats before the month of July each year meeting the cost from MGNREGA funds
• Shortage of funds under MGNREGA will be supplemented from funds of Green India Mission
• SFDA will also provide matter for fencing alongside organic manure. It will train youths from MGNREGA houses to engage in forest conservation and other ecological activities
• As per MGNREGA, wages will constitute 100% central grant and material component will be shared on a 75:25 ratio between state and central governments
• Under the Green India Mission, the Indian government will offer 90% funds for implementation of the scheme in the northeast and special category states and 75% for the rest of the nation

Facts and Stats

• In 2014, the parliamentary panel pointed to the failure of the Environment Ministry to implement the 2002 INR 3,044 crore national afforestation programme
Forest panel also found forest cover had lessened by 367 square kms in the 2 years between 2009 and 2011
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