Compensatory Afforestation – UPSC Prelims

What is Compensatory Afforestation?
  • Compensatory Afforestation (CA) is defined as the process of afforestation, and associated regeneration activities, done to compensate for destroyed forest land that has been diverted to non-forest activities.
  • Under the Forest Conservation Act 1980, every time forest land is diverted for non-forest purposes such as mining or industry, the project developer is supposed to identify non-forest land of an equal area and also pay for planting forests over this, or when that is not available, on twice the area of degraded forest land.
Compensatory Afforestation Fund
  • The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act was passed by the centre in 2016 and the related rules were notified in 2018.
  • The Act was enacted to manage the funds collected for compensatory afforestation, which till then was managed by ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
Key Provisions of  Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016
  • The act established a National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India and a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of each state.
  • These Funds will receive payments for:
    • compensatory afforestation
    • net present value of forest (NPV)
    • other project specific payments.
    • The National Fund will receive 10% of these funds, and the State Funds will receive the remaining 90%.
  • These Funds will be primarily spent on afforestation to compensate for the loss of forest cover, regeneration of forest ecosystem, wildlife protection and infrastructure development.
  • The Act also establishes the National and State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authorities to manage the National and State Funds.
  • The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) has so far disbursed ₹48,606 crores to 32 States.
  • Chhattisgarh and Odisha have had the maximum amount transferred to them, followed by Jharkhand and Maharashtra.

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