The Union Environment Ministry has transferred ₹47,436 crore to 27 States for afforestation. The funds are long-pending dues, part of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF), that has been collected for nearly a decade as environmental compensation from industry.
Compensatory Afforestation Fund
- The CAF Act was passed by the centre in 2016 and the related rules were notified in 2018.
- The CAF 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).
- Compensatory afforestation means that every time forest land is diverted for non-forest purposes such as mining or industry, the user agency pays for planting forests over an equal area of non-forest land, or when such land is not available, twice the area of degraded forest land.
- As per the rules, 90% of the CAF money is to be given to the states while 10% is to be retained by the Centre.
- The funds can be used for treatment of catchment areas, assisted natural generation, forest management, wildlife protection and management, relocation of villages from protected areas, managing human-wildlife conflicts, training and awareness generation, supply of wood saving devices and allied activities.