These efforts will play an important role achieving the international commitments of India such as NDC forestry sector goal of creation of additional carbon sink of 2.5 -3 billion tons.
It will strengthen the country’s progress towards Panchamrit commitment at CoP26.
New Delhi: The Centre on Monday released a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on the Rejuvenation of thirteen major rivers through forestry interventions, with a total outlay of Rs. 19,342.62 crore in a bid to mitigate the depleting fresh water resources, especially due to shrinking and degradation of river ecosystems.
The report was released by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav and the Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, along with the Minister of State, MoEF & CC, Ashwini Kumar Choubey.
According to the official statement, the DPRs will focus on protection, afforestation, catchment treatment, ecological restoration, moisture conservation, livelihood improvement, income generation, ecotourism by developing river fronts and eco-parks, and bringing awareness amongst the masses.
“Research and monitoring have also been included as a component,” it said.
A total of 667 treatment and plantation models are proposed in all the 13 DPRs meant for the proposed forestry interventions and supporting activities in different landscapes.
In all, 283 treatment models have been proposed for natural landscapes, 97 of which are in agriculture landscapes, and 116 different treatment models in urban landscapes.
Addressing the gathering, the Union Environment Minister, Bhupender Yadav, said that these DPRs are in line with the holistic vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will alleviate the growing water stress and help achieve national goals related to climate change and sustainable development.
Talking about the report, Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that with these DPRs, through holistic planning, we can head towards giving a better resource base to the future through integrative management and combined efforts of all.
The Minister also stressed the need to think of ourselves as custodians of nature and all its beauty and resources and the fact that in the past five decades we have forgotten our responsibilities towards sustainability and that we need to ensure that we give a better resource base to our future generations.
The activities proposed in the DPRs will aid in the achievement of potential benefits such as increased green cover, reduced soil erosion, recharging the water table, and carbon dioxide sequestration, in addition to benefits in the form of non-timber forest produce.
Forestry interventions are expected to increase the cumulative forest cover by 7,417.36 km2 across 13 riverscapes. The proposed interventions would help to sequester 50.21 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 10-year-old plantations and 74.76 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 20-year-old plantations, “said the statement.
The proposed interventions in thirteen riverscapes would help with ground water recharge to the extent of 1,889.89 million m3 yr-1 and sedimentation to the tune of 64,831,114 m3 yr-1.
In addition, Rs. 449.01 crore is likely to be generated from expected non-timber and other forest products
It is also expected that the employment of 344 million man-days will be generated through planned activities as provisioned in 13 DPRs.
These efforts will play an important role in achieving the international commitments of India, such as the NDC forestry sector goal of creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5–3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030 under the Paris Agreement of UNFCCC, the restoration of 26 million hectares of degraded lands by 2030 as a land degradation neutrality target under UNCCD, and halting biodiversity loss by 2030 under CBD and Sustainable Development Goals.
The Ministry said it will strengthen the country’s progress towards the Panchamrit commitment at CoP-26 in November 2021 in Glasgow, whereby India promised to reduce its projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030, meet 50 per cent of energy requirements with renewable energy by 2030, enhance non-fossil energy capacity to 500 gigawatts by 2030, reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 45 per cent by 2030, and achieve net zero emissions by 2070″.
Thirteen rivers collectively cover a total basin area of 18,90,110 sq. km. That represents 57.45 percent of the geographical area of the country. The length of 13 rivers, including 202 tributaries within the delineated riverscapes, is 42,830 km.
The 13 rivers for which DPRs were released are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Luni, Narmada, Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna, and Cauvery.