Set up in August 1992 under the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF), the National Afforestation & Eco-Development Board (NAEB) is responsible for promoting afforestation,tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country. The Board carries out its activities with special attention to the degraded forest areas and lands adjoining the forest areas, national parks, sanctuaries and other protected areas as well as the ecologically fragile areas like the Western Himalayas, Aravallis, Western Ghats, etc.
Catching up with the online buzz and in the spirit of ensuring greater transparency that the MoEF has been amazingly propagating, NAEB has just gone ahead to launch its new website. The website will provide information of all schemes and programmes of NAEB, guidelines, status of proposals, sanctions and evaluations. With such a dedicated website, the general public at large will surely have a window to look through and see what is being done at the national and state level, under various afforestation schemes. It will also be easier to scale the impact of such schemes while questioning the routine plantation drives done by many these days…and see how successful these really are, and if not then Why?
The total area in Delhi covered by NAEB under public and forest lands is 100 hectare and the target number of seedlings to be planted during the year 2010-2011 is 0.65 lakhs (650plants/Ha). The policies and schemes in the capital is considered to be doing well, terming the city as one of the greenest in the country so far. Tree plantation has become synonymous to all environmental related programs or functions in the city. It’s a ritual many corporate houses have also started following for carbon offsetting. Delhi Government also follow the ritual as part of the various eco-drives in the city.
Following are some of the roles of the NAEB, as laid down in the website:
- Evolve mechanisms for ecological restoration of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands through systematic planning and implementation, in a cost effective manner;
- Restore through natural regeneration or appropriate intervention the forest cover in the country for ecological security and to meet the fuel wood, fodder and other needs of the rural communities;
- Restore fuel wood, fodder, timber and other forest produce on the degraded forest and adjoining lands in order to meet the demands for these items;
- Sponsor research and extension of research findings to disseminate new and proper technologies for the regeneration and development of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands;
- Create general awareness and help foster people’s movement for promoting afforestation and eco-development with the assistance of voluntary agencies, non-government organisations, Panchayati Raj institutions and others and promote participatory and sustainable management of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands;
- Coordinate and monitor the Action Plans for afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development
- Undertake all other measures necessary for promoting afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country.