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Posted at: Jun 16, 2015, 1:47 AM; last updated: Jun 16, 2015, 1:47 AM (IST)

Himachal sells first carbon credits through plantations

WB-aided project

  • Himachal has taken the lead by implementing the World Bank-funded Mid-Himalayan Watershed Development Project
  • The state has been able to make the farmers realize the importance of clean development mechanism.
  • The state has sold its carbon credits for the first time for Rs 1.93 cr to Spain.
  • The benefits will percolate down to farmers in 602 villages and bring an income of Rs 20 crores during the next two decades.
Himachal sells first carbon credits through plantations

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 15

The benefits of greening the degraded land in 10 districts of the state under the World Bank-funded climate change mitigation project under Kyoto Protocol have yielding results with Himachal selling its carbon credits for the first time for Rs 1.93 crore to Spain, with an assured amount to all land owners.

Himachal which had taken the lead not just in India but in Asia by implementing the World Bank-funded Mid-Himalayan Watershed Development Project (MHWDP) has been able to make the farmers realize the importance of clean development mechanism (CDM). The benefits which will percolate down to farmers scattered in 602 villages in the mid and high hills will bring an income of Rs 20 crores during the next two decades to individuals and communities.

The Mid-Himalayan project was registered under the CDM provisions and subsequently purchased agreement was entered with the Government of Spain through the World Bank for the sale of carbon credits. “The verification report was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change during December, 2014 and after the acceptance of the report, the World Bank has now agreed to release the payment of Rs 1.93 crore,” said Tarun Sridhar, Additional Chief Secretary (Forest and Revenue).

Himachal has taken the lead in the whole of Asia by implementing the “Himachal Pradesh Reforestation Project – Improving Livelihoods and Watersheds” for offsetting the green house emissions a few years back and the efforts have borne results.

The forestry plantations raised on 3,204 hectares became eligible for the first cycle of carbon credits. The verification process for the first cycle was completed in November, 2014.

The project will make the villagers strategic seller of carbon credits, in response to global demand for Certified Emission Reduction. The beneficiaries will get an additional income of Rs 3,000 per hectare per annum along with assured employment.

The CDM Project involves local communities in plantation activities on degraded common lands, degraded forestlands and private degraded lands through planting of multi-purpose species and implementing sustainable forest management practices.

This combination has been able to provide multiple benefits to the poor farmers through meeting their needs of small timber, firewood, minor forest produce along with carbon credits (as cash incentive), besides providing gainful employment.

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