The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016

Introduction

The Union Environment Ministry of India has transferred the ₹47,436 crore to 27 States for afforestation. The funds are pending from long in form of dues, a part of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF), that has been collected for nearly a few decade as environmental compensation from industry.

(1) The funds transferred are in additionally to State Budget. The centre expects that states will utilize the funds towards forest and forest related activities to understand the objectives of the Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDCs) of accelerating forest & tree cover.

The Fund are go per to be used as per provisions of the CAF Act and Rules


CAF Act 2016

The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Act or Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act seeks to produce an appropriate institutional mechanism, both at the Centre and in each State and Union Territory, to create sure expeditious utilization within the efficient and transparent manner of amounts released in lieu of forest land diverted for the non-forest purpose which could mitigate the impact of diversion on the such forest land.

The CAF Act was approved by the centre in 2016 and also the related rules were notified in 2018.

The CAF Act was pass to manage/organise the funds collected for compensatory afforestation which till then was managed by unintended Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).

– Compensatory afforestation implies that whenever forest land is diverted for non-forest purposes like mining or industry, the user agency pays for planting forests over an equal area of non-forest land, or when such land isn’t available, twice the realm of degraded forest land.

It seeks to ascertain the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the final general Public Account of India, and a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the overall general Public Account of every each state.

As per the foundations regulations , 90% of the CAF money is to tend to the states while 10% is to be retained by the Centre.

The funds are often used for the treatment of catchment areas, assisted natural generation, forest management, wildlife protection and management, relocation of villages from protected areas, managing human-wildlife conflicts, training and awareness generation, the availability of wood saving devices, and allied activities.

The act also seeks to determination National and State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authorities for manage the funds.

The determination of NPV (Net Present Value) are going to be delegated to an expert committee constituted by the central government. NPV is that the ecological cost of forests


OBJECTIVES

(1) To push afforestation and development activities so on to make amends for forest land that’s intended to be diverted to non-forest uses.

(2) To law down effective guidelines for the State

(3) To facilitate necessary assistance in terms of scientific, technological, and other requisites that may be required by the authority chargeable for the State CAMPA.

(4) To recommend measures supported on strategic getting about to the authorities of the State CAMPA

(5) To resolve issues that arise between inter-state or Centre-State.

(6) The State CAMPA would administer and check the number received from the Adhoc CAMPA and utilize the funds collected for undertaking compensatory afforestation, assisted natural regeneration, conservation and protection of forests and areas, infra. development, wildlife conservation and protection and other related matter activities and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

(7) State CAMPA would offer an integrated framework of for utilizing multiple sources and areas of funding and activities protection and management of forests and it’s wildlife. Its prime task would be regenerating natural forests and build up the institution engaged during this add the State Forest Department including training of the forest officials of various levels with a stress on training of the staff at forefront edge level (forest range level). In short, the department would be modernised to protect and regenerating the forests and wildlife habitat


Criticism

(1) In 2002, the Supreme Court had observed that collected funds for afforestation were under-utilized by the states and it ordered for centrally pooling of funds under unintended Compensatory Afforestation Fund.

(2) The law says that land selected for afforestation should otherwise be contiguous to the forest being diverted so it’s easier for forest officials to manage it. But if no suitable non-forest land is found, degraded forests are chosen for afforestation. In several states like Chattisgarh, Odisha, and Jharkhand where the intensity of mining is incredibly high, finding the non-forest land for afforestation to complete/finish for the loss of forest may be a enormous task.

(3) CAMPA Fund utilisation : Several state governments don’t seem to be utilizing it properly. An amount of Rs 86 lakh from CAMPA funds meant for afforestation was reportedly spent on litigation add Punjab.

(4) Infrastructure development is one area of fund usage. Experts argue and discuss that CAMPA funds can become general development fund.

(5) Moreover, at several places, the loss of natural species is compensated with the plantation of non-native species within the name of the factitiousplantation. It’s s a threat to even the present/current ecosystem.

(6) Questions is also extra raised on the standard quality of recent forests.

(7) There’s no provision regarding consultation of tribal Gram Sabhas during compensatory afforestation. It defeats the substance and pith of the Forest Rights Act.


Future :

(1) The proposed objective of the Act must be fulfilled by utilizing the CAMPA funds just for the aim it’s meant for. It should efficiently be used just for afforestation and wildlife conservation activities.

(2) A more robust have a glance or look at the govt. activities using CAMPA funding is required. The central government should adopt the concept of outcome budgeting for allocation of funds to the authorities during which funding are going to be done on an installment basis by checking the tip result of previous funds.

(3) State govt. should restore the current forests rather than creating new ones.


Conclusion

The guidelines also discuss about establishment of an independent system for concurrent monitoring and evaluation of the works implemented within the States utilizing the funds available.
In sum, the prime task of State CAMPA would be regenerating natural forests and build up the institution engaged during this task within the State Forest Department


References:

(1) http://forestsclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/FAC_Agenda/AboutCAMPA.pdf

(2) https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-analysis/compensatory-afforestation-fund

(3) https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/campa-law/

(4) https://lotusarise.com/compensatory-afforestation-fund-act-2016-upsc/https://lotusarise.com/compensatory-afforestation-fund-act-2016-upsc/

(5) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compensatory_Afforestation_Fund_Act,_2016

(6) https://legislative.gov.in/actsofparliamentfromtheyear/compensatory-afforestation-fund-act-2016

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