The National Mission for Green India was announced by the Prime Minister as one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). It recognizes that climate change phenomenon will seriously affect and alter the distribution, type and quality of natural biological resources of the country. During 2011-12, the Government of India had sanctioned the Bridge Plan under Green India Mission for implementation in Kolli hills landscape of Namakkal Forest Development Agency at a cost of Rs.72.15 lakhs. An amount of Rs.70 lakhs was spent upto 31.03.2014. The perfective plan sent to Government of India during 2014-15 is yet to be sanctioned.
This scheme is being implemented for eco-restoration in the Nilgiris District with the objective of enlarging the permanent green cover and regulating the biotic interference in the forests to preserve, protect and develop the ecological conditions through afforestation and soil conservation and other developmental activities. Activities like tree planting in the degraded forest areas, erection of chainlink fence around shola forests and also for Reserve Forests where so many wildlife animals live enriching degraded sholas through soil and water conservation measures, scraping and maintenance of fire lines to prevent forest fire are being executed under this scheme.
In Tamil Nadu, the forests extend over an area of 22,877 sq.km. This constitutes 17.59% of the states geographical area. One-third of the forest area is estimated to be degraded due to anthropogenic pressures. In order to restore the degraded forests in Tamil Nadu and to achieve the national target of 33% under forest and tree cover, many schemes have been / are being implemented. The National Afforestation Programme (NAP) is one of such schemes being implemented in Tamil Nadu. This scheme launched during 2002-03 is being implemented by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department with 100% central assistance and the objectives of the schemes are (i) to increase and / or improve forest and tree cover, (ii) Rehabilitation of degraded forests and other areas by institutionalizing decentralized / participatory forest management and supplementing livelihoods improvement process (village development, employment generation). The scheme is being implemented in three tier set up viz., State Forest Development agency, Tamil Nadu (a body registered under Societies Registration Act), Forest Development Agency and JFMCs. There are 33 Forest Development Agencies and 1230 Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs). The following activities are carried out under the scheme Natural aided regeneration Artificial Regeneration Raising bamboo plantations Mixed plantations of Minor forest produce and medicinal plants Regeneration of herbs and shrubs Soil and Moisture Conservation works Fencing Awareness Creation Monitoring and Evaluation Entry Point Activities
Tamil Nadu Afforestation Project (TAP) aimed at ecological restoration and biological upgradation of degraded forests and other lands abutting 1368 villages in Tamil Nadu was launched from 1997-98 to 2004-05 funded by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Japan upto 2003-04 and assistance from the state during 2004-05. It was implemented of watershed basis with the style of ‘Joint Forest Management’, wherein people’s participation in planning, execution, benefit sharing, monitoring and evaluation is ensured. During 2004-05, it was implemented with State Government funds. Total expenditure of the project is Rs.688.00 crores.
To restore the residual degraded forests and to continue the socio-economic development activities in the forest fringe villages, TAP Phase-II has been implemented at a project outlay of Rs.567.42 crores with funding from Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) for a period of 8 years From 2005-06 to 2012-13 2,08,550 ha. of degraded forest were restored (including 31050 ha. treated under State Fund) and socio-economic development activities were carried out in 950 interface including 193 tribal villages. Main objectives was to restore the ecological equilibrium of the forest watersheds and adjacent villages of Tamil Nadu and to improve the quality of life of inhabitants through reforestation, water conservation and sustained community action. Major components of the project are Afforestation, Buffer Zone Activities, Improvement of infrastructure for field staff, Supporting activities for forest management.
In order to encourage tree cultivation outside forests, 'Tree cultivation in Private Lands' was implemented in the State from 2007-08 to 2011-12, which is the first effort of its kind in the country. An amount of Rs.56.96 crore was sanctioned under State funds from 2007-08 to 2011-12. It was implemented by carrying out block planting and inter-crop planting during 2007-08, by carrying out block planting during 2008-09 and 2010-11 and free supply of profitable timber species for planting in the bunds. During 2011-12, block planting was carried out by planting profitable timber species like teak and Casuarina species in the farmers' lands. From 2012-13 onwards, 'Tree Cultivation in Private Lands' has been implemented under Japan aided Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project as it is one of the major component under this scheme.