buffer zone, forest, kerala
According to a 2019-20 report, forest cover in Kerala constitutes 30 per cent of the state’s total geographical area, 6 per cent higher than the national average | Representative photo: Pixabay

TN govt forms Green Climate Company to conserve forests and wetlands

The Tamil Nadu government has formed a new company, Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company, with 51 per cent shareholding.

The company has been created to enhance forest and tree cover in the state, to restore ecological wetlands, and to focus and take action on climate change adaptation and mitigation activities.

The government has allocated ₹5 crore as equity for the new company. Sources said that the new company would be involved in restoring wetlands, and also create awareness among the public for not using plastics.

Under the Green Tamil Nadu Mission, the government proposes to enhance the forest and tree cover from 23.27 per cent at present, to 33 per cent, through a meticulously planned tree planting campaign over a period of 10 years.

Restoration of wetlands will be the main aim of Tamil Nadu Wetlands Mission, which will also aim to converse and manage the wetlands.

Also read: COP26: India polishes its climate reputation at Glasgow

The company will also focus and take action on climate change adaptation and mitigation activities.

The company proposes to focus on plans to popularise strategies to reduce the losses in agriculture due to extreme weather. The company would also increase use of micro irrigation technologies, harvest rainwater, strengthen crop insurance programmes, forecast disease outbreaks, and popularise indigenous variety of plants.

Some of the other proposals of the company include, increase in productivity of crops, building ecosystems to manage droughts, creating institutional frameworks to combat climate change, and advising and encouraging farmers to adapt climate change strategies like programmes in managing water resources.

The Forest Department has identified that the major threats to wetlands is over exploitation leading to loss of ecological balance. This also leads to loss of habitat of flora and fauna, soil and water salinity along coastal wetlands, spread of invasive species, and scarcity of fresh water. Steps will be taken to protect wetlands.

An integrated management plan will be in place and based on that, works will be undertaken to restore wetlands through a participatory process involving local communities as well as relevant stakeholders.

The new company would work towards promoting eco-friendly technologies, biodegradable packaging, e-vehicles, etc. The company would also develop collaborations and strengthen community engagement to build long term commitment for a net zero carbon future.

Also read: Plastic ban and other key measures: Here’s what TN is doing to save the planet

The Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company shall set up a specialised project management unit for coordinating and monitoring project activities under all the three missions, in partnership with Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Fund Management Corporation.

The Forest Secretary will be the chairperson and Managing Director of the new company. The Directors of the company would include, the Finance Secretary or his nominee, Secretaries of Energy, Municipal Administration, agriculture, public works, and water resources and Principal Conservator of Forests.

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