Responses to the draft National Forest Policy 2018 revolved around a host of issues, including lack of focus on provisions of Forest Rights Act and limited role of gram sabhas, the government said today.
In a written reply to a question, Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma told Lok Sabha that the responses have been received from various stakeholders, including government, private agencies, non-governmental organisations, members of civil society, experts and other concerned individuals.
The MoS said the National Forest Policy 2018 will be finalised after all comments are analysed. "However, the ministry has not set any time limit for finalisation of the new National Forest Policy," he said.
The draft policy was placed in public domain for a month till April 14 this year for comments.
"The responses mostly seek clarity on the provisions of the Forest Rights Act and its implementation, the limited role of gram sabha's, concern on public private partnership (PPP) in afforestation drives and raising plantations under degraded and other forest plantation areas.
"Concerns have also been raised on balance between conservation and country's development along with incentivising plantation activity outside forests, etc.," Sharma said.
"The overall objective and goal of the present policy is to safeguard the ecological and livelihood security for the present and future generations, based on sustainable management of the forests for the flow of ecosystem services," he said.
To achieve the national goal for ecological security, the draft National Forest Policy 2018 proposes a minimum of one-third of total land area under forest and tree cover.
In hills and mountainous regions, it is proposed that two-third of the area is under forest and tree cover in order to prevent soil erosion and land degradation and also to ensure the stability of the fragile eco-systems," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)