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Round Table Meeting on: Guidelines for the participation of private sector in Afforestation of Degraded Forests

Date: Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Venue: CSE office (Core 6A, 4th Floor), India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110003

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has recently issued guidelines for the participation of the private sector in afforestation of degraded forests. The proposal is to make available degraded forests to different private agencies including industries requiring timber and other forest produce for their end use. This is not the first time that handing over of degraded forests to private entities has been proposed in India. Such proposals have been opposed in the past by community groups and civil society alike. Now in the context of the said guidelines, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has looked at the issue once again and has come out with a detailed analysis of the proposal.
 
Our analysis shows that the reasons for opposing this initiative are as valid today as they were in the past. In fact, we have more reasons to oppose such proposals today as we now have a flourishing farm forestry–industry partnership models which are able to supply almost all of the raw material requirements to paper and wood based industries in the country. Currently, close to 20 million farmers are involved in farm forestry. The current proposal if implemented will have very severe social, ecological and economic consequences, especially at the cost of poor forest dependent communities and farmers practicing farm forestry in India.
 
The meeting is being convened to discuss the above issue. The discussion in the meeting will help us develop a dialogue on this issue as well as in moving together towards sustainable forest management in India.
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