India Highlights Forest Conservation Gains at UN Forum

India showcases its significant advancements in forest conservation and management at the 19th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) in New York, highlighting its commitment to biodiversity and wildlife conservation, species conservation, and habitat protection, and introducing innovative initiatives such as the Green Credit Program to incentivize tree plantation and forest restoration. The event emphasizes the critical role of forests in combating climate change, preserving biodiversity, and supporting sustainable development." This description focuses on the primary topic of forest conservation, the main entity of India, the context of the UNFF session, and the significant actions and implications related to the subject matter. It also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as the setting of the UNFF session, India's commitment to conservation, and the introduction of innovative initiatives.

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Bijay Laxmi
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India Highlights Forest Conservation Gains at UN Forum

India Highlights Forest Conservation Gains at UN Forum

India showcased its significant advancements in forest conservation and management at the 19th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) held at the UN Headquarters in New York from May 6 to May 10, 2024. The country ranks third globally in net gain in average annual forest area between 2010 and 2020, reflecting its consistent efforts to increase forest cover over the past 15 years.

Why this matters: The conservation of forests is crucial in combating climate change, preserving biodiversity, and supporting sustainable development, making India's achievements a model for other nations to follow. As the world grapples with environmental challenges, India's leadership in forest conservation offers valuable lessons and inspiration for the global community.

The Indian delegation, led by Jitendra Kumar, Director General of Forests and Special Secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, emphasized India's high priority on biodiversity and wildlife conservation. The country has expanded its network of protected areas to include over 1,000 wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, tiger reserves, biosphere reserves, and other critical wildlife habitats.

India also highlighted its commitment to species conservation and habitat protection, as evidenced by the recent celebrations marking 50 years of Project Tiger and 30 years of Project Elephant. These initiatives have played a crucial role in safeguarding iconic species and their ecosystems.

During the UNFF session, India introduced the 'Green Credit Program,' an innovative scheme designed to incentivize entities to engage in tree plantation and the restoration of degraded forest lands. This program aims to reinforce climate action efforts and contribute to the achievement of India's ambitious environmental targets.

India also presented recommendations from the Country-Led Initiative under UNFF, which it hosted in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, in October 2023. The initiative, attended by representatives from 40 countries and 20 international organizations, focused on critical issues such as forest fire management and forest certification.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change hosted a side event at UNFF 19 on 'Principles and Strategies for Landscape Integrated Fire Management through Collaborative Governance.' The event was organized in partnership with the Agency for Integrated Rural Fire Management, Portugal, the Korea Forest Service, and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).

The 19th UNFF session culminated in a declaration by participating countries to take urgent and accelerated actions to halt deforestation, prevent forest and land degradation, implement the UN Strategic Plan for Forests, and achieve the Global Forest Goals. This commitment underscores the global recognition of the critical role forests play in combating climate change, preserving biodiversity, and supporting sustainable development.

India's achievements in forest conservation and management serve as a model for other nations, demonstrating the effectiveness of sustained efforts and innovative approaches in protecting and restoring forest ecosystems. As the world continues to grapple with the challenges posed by climate change and biodiversity loss, India's leadership in this domain offers valuable lessons and inspiration for the global community.

Key Takeaways

  • India ranks 3rd globally in net gain in average annual forest area between 2010 and 2020.
  • India has expanded its network of protected areas to over 1,000 wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.
  • India introduced the 'Green Credit Program' to incentivize tree plantation and forest restoration.
  • India hosted a Country-Led Initiative under UNFF, focusing on forest fire management and certification.
  • UNFF 19 culminated in a declaration to take urgent actions to halt deforestation and achieve Global Forest Goals.