Centre limits states’ role in forest matters

• Recently Ministry of Environment has said that a state/UT government will not impose any additional direction after in-principle approval has been accorded by the centre.

• The clarification was issued after the Odisha government sought the implementation of a site-specific plan in a mining project.

• However, these directions pose a serious challenge to collaborative federalism as forests are part of the concurrent list.

• The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 prohibits the felling of forests for any ‘non-forestry’ use without prior clearance by the central government.

• In case of diversion for non-forest purposes, the project developer is supposed to pay for planting forests over an equal area of non-forest land, or twice the area of degraded forest land in case of non-availability of non-forest land.

• This money gets collected under the compensatory afforestation fund (CAMPA).

About Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA):

• An Ad-hoc CAMPA came into being in 2006 following a SC judgement in 2001. Subsequently, CAMPA Act and CAMPA Fund Rules in 2016 and 2018 respectively were enacted.

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Mains Paper 3: Environment

Prelims level: Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority

Mains level: Read the newsfeed

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