World Bank to help Himachal Pradesh increase forest cover

July 20th, 2008 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, July 20 (IANS) The World Bank has agreed to extend the facility of carbon credit financing to Himachal Pradesh to encourage people to raise forests on private and community lands. A team of the World Bank visited the hill state Saturday in this regard, an official release said.

The state government would likely sign an agreement with the World Bank by the end of this year to get funds for the implementation of the carbon credit project.

India is the first country in Asia and second in the world to have a scheme for selling carbon credits to the bank to directly benefit the growers.

New plantations will be raised over 12,000 hectares of degraded and fallow land under the scheme in a phased manner.

The growers will be paid Rs.25,000 per hectare for raising the plantation and Rs.3,500 to Rs.5,000 per hectare annually for 10 years depending on the carbon sequestration efficiency of the plants.

The state forest department has identified 25 species, including fruit and medicinal plants like mango, fig and amla, which not only have a good capacity of carbon sequestration but also help regulate the hydrological cycle.

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