Costa Rica to help Himachal check carbon emissions

February 14th, 2010 - 2:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Feb 14 (IANS) South American nation Costa Rica has expressed its willingness to enable Himachal Pradesh to emerge as a carbon-neutral state by reducing greenhouse emissions and earning carbon credits.
An eight-member delegation, headed by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, is in Costa Rica to learn ‘green’ lessons and to draw a roadmap for becoming the first carbon-neutral state in the country.

“The Costa Rica government has appreciated the achievements made by Himachal Pradesh in the conservation of environment. It has also expressed willingness to join the state in protecting environment and learn from the experiences of each other,” a Himachal Pradesh government spokesperson said here Sunday.

The delegation, which left for Costa Rica Tuesday, has apprised Costa Rican Environment, Energy and Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez of the initiatives taken by the government in protecting the environment.

Rodriguez, who is also the chief executive officer of the National Forestry Fund of Costa Rica, told the delegation that the forestry fund has been contributing significantly in the implementation of various environment conservation initiatives.

He also highlighted the steps adopted by the government to double the green cover from 21 percent in 1988 to 42 percent in 1997.

Significantly, Himachal Pradesh is already ahead of several states in earning ‘carbon credits’ by sequestration of greenhouse gases through expanded green cover.

In the past two years, the government has launched various community-driven plantation schemes to increase the green cover and protect the environment.

The state has also set up a voluntary ‘green tax’, an initiative to make the people contribute money that will be exclusively used for environment protection measures.

A complete ban on the production, storage, use, sale and distribution of all types of polythene bags made of non-biodegradable materials was imposed in the state in October last year.

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