ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Selling India’s Natural Wealth

This government cares less for India’s forests and more for forest-based industries.

The government wants to hand over to corporate India not just some historical monuments. It is also contemplating letting them take over lands classified as forests because they are not “productive” enough. While social media has been abuzz about the government’s decision to allow corporate houses to “adopt” nationally important historical monuments like the Red Fort, hardly any attention has been paid to crucial natural resources like India’s forests that could also be gifted to private business.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is currently looking at suggestions and objections raised to the draft National Forest Policy (NFP), 2018 that it released in March. This NFP will replace the existing one that came into effect 30 years ago in 1988. On the face of it, there is nothing wrong in rethinking a policy, particularly in the light of new information thrown up with the advent of climate change. Forests are an essential part of limiting the release of carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases, into the atmosphere as they have the ability to absorb it. Yet, while the draft does address climate concerns, its real intent has alarmed many environmentalists and civil society groups.

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Updated On : 7th May, 2018

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