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Introduction: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued a notification, dated February 22, 2024, unveiling the methodology for the calculation of green credit concerning tree plantation. This article delves into the intricacies of the method, as specified under the Green Credit Rules, 2023.

Detailed Analysis:

1. Identification of Land Parcels:

  • Forest Departments of States and Union territories identify degraded land parcels for tree plantation.
  • These parcels, including open forest, scrub land, wasteland, and catchment areas, are crucial for increasing the country’s green cover.

2. Criteria for Plantation:

  • The identified land parcels must be free from encumbrances and have a size of five hectares or more.

3. Application Process:

  • Individuals or entities interested in tree plantation for Green Credit must apply to the Administrator.

4. Assignment of Land and Proposal Submission:

  • The Administrator assigns the identified land to the applicant.
  • The applicant submits a proposal for tree plantation, outlining the plan for generating Green Credit.

5. Cost Calculation and Payment:

  • The Administrator issues a demand note specifying the cost and administrative expenses.
  • The applicant pays the amount within the specified period through a bank draft or other means.

6. Tree Plantation Execution:

  • Upon payment, the Forest Department executes tree plantation based on the management plan.
  • Plantation must be completed within two years from the payment date.

7. Report and Certification:

  • The Forest Department submits a report and issues a certificate of completion to the applicant.

8. Green Credit Generation:

  • The Administrator evaluates and verifies the tree plantation activity.
  • Green Credit is generated based on the total number of trees planted and the completion certification.

9. Calculation and Usage:

  • Green Credit is calculated at one per tree, with a minimum density requirement.
  • It can be exchanged for compensatory afforestation compliance or used for reporting under environmental, social, and governance indicators or corporate social responsibility.

Conclusion: Understanding the methodology for calculating green credit in tree plantation is pivotal for environmental sustainability. The Ministry’s guidelines, as outlined in the notification, provide a structured process that contributes to afforestation and can be leveraged for various environmental and corporate responsibilities. Stay informed and engaged for a greener future.

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MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
NOTIFICATION
New Delhi, the 22nd February, 2024

S.O. 884(E).Whereas, the Central Government made the Green Credit Rules, 2023 (hereinafter referred to the said Rules) under section 3,6, 25 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986) vide notification number S.O. 4458(E), dated the 12th October, 2023 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub Section (ii);

AND WHEREAS, rule 5 of the said Rules provides that the Central Government shall, on the recommendation of the Administrator, notify the methodology for calculating the green credit in respect of any activity undertaken under the said Rules;

NOW, THEREFORE, in pursuance of sub-rule (1) of rule 5 of the Green Credit Rules, 2023, the Central Government, on the recommendation of the Administrator, hereby notifies the following methodology, for calculation of green credit in respect of tree plantation, namely: –

1. The Forest Department of every State and Union territory shall identify degraded land parcels, including open forest and scrub land, wasteland and catchment areas, under their administrative control and management, which shall be made available for tree plantation to promote activities for increasing the green cover across the country for the purposes of generation of Green Credit under the said Rules.

2. The land parcel identified for plantation under paragraph 1 must be free from all encumbrances and must have size of five hectares or above.

3. Any person or entity desirous of undertaking tree plantation for the purposes of generation of Green Credit may apply to the Administrator.

4. On receipt of the application under paragraph 3, the Administrator shall identify any land referred to in paragraph 1 and assign the same to the applicant and require him to submit a proposal for undertaking tree plantation for generation of Green Credit in lieu thereof under the said Rules.

5. On receipt of the proposal under paragraph 4, the Administrator shall prepare and issue a demand note to the applicant which shall include the cost of tree plantation and administrative expenses, if any, to be paid to the Administrator within a period specified in the demand note.

6. The applicant shall pay the amount to the Administrator on or before the period specified in the demand note through a bank draft or such other means of payment as may be decided by the Administrator.

7. On the payment of the amount under paragraph 6, the Administrator shall direct the Forest Department to carry out tree plantation in line with the management plan or working plan and shall be completed within a period of two years from the date of payment.

8. On completion of tree plantation, the Forest Department shall submit a report in this regard to the Administrator and issue a certificate of completion of tree plantation to the applicant.

9. On receipt of the report under paragraph 8, the Administrator, after evaluation and verification of the tree plantation activity may generate and issue Green Credit to the applicant under the said Rules, based on the total number of trees planted in assigned land parcel and on the report and certification of completion of tree plantation activity.

10. The Green Credit shall be calculated at the rate of one Green Credit per tree grown through the tree plantation on such land parcel, subject to minimum density of 1100 trees per hectare, based on the local silvi-climatic and soil conditions, on the certification of completion of tree plantation provided by the Forest Department concerned.

11. The Green Credit generated under the said Rules, may be exchanged for meeting the compliance of the compensatory afforestation in case of diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes under the Van (Sanrakshan Evam Samvardhan) Adhiniyam, 1980 (69 of 1980), as applicable.

12. The Green Credit generated in lieu of tree plantation under the said Rules may be used for reporting under environmental, social and governance leadership indicator or under corporate social responsibility under the applicable rules made under any law for the time being in force.

[F. No. HSM-12/24/2023-HSM(pt2)-Part(1)]

NAMEETA PRASAD, Jt. Secy.

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