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What is Chhattisgarh's Mukhyamantri Vriksha Sampada Yojana?

On March 31, 2023, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel launched the Mukhyamantri Vriksha Sampada Yojana.

By pragyaanant
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Mukhyamantri Vriksha Sampada Yojana.

Mukhyamantri Vriksha Sampada Yojana: At the COP26 climate meeting this month in Glasgow, 141 countries committed to stopping and reversing deforestation by 2030. However, India still needs to sign an agreement on forests and land use, despite promising to cut its estimated carbon emissions by 2030. India's forests should be preserved since trees capture carbon from the atmosphere, which might be helpful in this attempt. Natural climate solutions assist in absorbing carbon emissions and limiting the increase in global temperatures. Reforestation operations in India, where there is a 21.67 % coverage of forests, are ongoing but slow and difficult.

On March 31, 2023, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel launched the Mukhyamantri Vriksha Sampada Yojana. It is the nation's first-ever extensive commercial plantation scheme involving farmers. In recognition of World Forestry Day, the program was implemented in 33 districts. By promoting the growth of commercial trees in rural regions and increasing farmer incomes while preserving the environment, the program attempts to achieve its goals. As part of this program, trees will be planted on 36,230 acres of barren land owned by 23,600 farmers in all 33 districts of Chhattisgarh. Through the use of carbon credits, the effort also provides additional revenue to the Chhattisgarh economy. The lives and livelihoods of tribal people depend on forests. Bamboo and native trees offer employment and money through harvesting plant-based Products. People either consume or sell them to private traders, cooperatives, and societies supported by the government.

The Implications of Reforestation on Community

Cultivating highly demandable local trees will help the residents that depend on the forests to generate a sustainable rural economy. Rural populations will benefit from the project's employment opportunities, particularly for females. The planting of trees will strengthen a sensitive local economy based on agriculture. The project will also help secure and improve wildlife habitats by providing more food in the forests and restricting their mobility within the forest ranges. The project will lessen crop degradation and human-wildlife conflict.

Trees' ability to capture carbon will help with climate change mitigation in the long run. Each mature tree can absorb roughly 20 kg of CO2 annually, which is an optimistic estimation of the sequestration capability of trees globally. Additionally, by enabling local-level action to protect and restore the degraded forest land and involving local communities in crucial roles for planning, decision-making, implementation, and monitoring during plantation. The extensive reforestation project could strengthen the National Mission for Green India.

The Benefit of the Reforestation Project

The project involves 885 acres area in Durg for plantation work out of 2,500 acres. The remaining space will be used for growing non-woody plants. In this instance, 80,000 nursery-grown saplings will be planted. Other plants will be planted besides sal and mahua, jamun or black plum, peepal, amla, and banyan. The community destroyed Lantana, an invasive plant, as part of the plantation work. Babool trees predominate the area and prevent the growth of other trees. The people claim that deer and hyenas can still be seen in Durg. 

The effort, which will concentrate on cultivating trees ideal for the area, such as bamboo, teak, and fruit-bearing trees, has been put into place thanks to a partnership between the state government and two private businesses, Dabur and Bhoruka. They believe that by planting fruit trees as part of forestry efforts, monkeys will stay around and not migrate to urban areas where they are not welcome. 

The initiative offers a livelihood of Rs 306 per day. Currently, 250 individuals are employed, many of whom travel five kilometers. According to Bhupendra Pal, the sarpanch of Nandini village, 60 people are employed there. We are all working to make arrangements for the required laborers. Because so many people leave this area to work outside in Bhilai, Raipur, and Durg city, there is a labor shortage. Women also work in kitchen gardens growing vegetables, returning only in the evening. Here, forests disappeared over time, and the soil lost fertility. Trees were also cut down for firewood.

Conclusion

The Chhattisgarh commercial reforestation initiative is crucial for environmentally friendly growth and preservation. The program will not only increase employment prospects and the economy, but it will also contribute to reducing the negative consequences of climate change and enhancing state residents' living standards. The collaboration and involvement of the local communities, who will play a significant role in planting and caring for the trees, will be necessary for the project's success. With a concentrated effort, the project might become a template for other states and nations wanting to promote sustainable development and prevent deforestation.

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