Green Cover Compensation
While there is no doubt that green cover is essential for human survival and biodiversity on other, it must also be remembered that human activity, even for the most basic needs and a dignified way of living, needs land for sustenance.
- The Forest land is one of the few sources of new land (along with wetlands and river beds) which is available for human activities.
- These activities can be farming, housing construction, factory construction or for infrastructure projects.
- These activities are essential for economic development which would ensure a basic standard of living for the people living in those areas.
- Unfortunately, most of this land is located in countries which are economically backward and need more land & avenues for their development.
- This creates a challenge as the policymakers need to get a balance between economic development and ecological conservation.
What can be done?
The comparatively wealthier nations and regions can provide economic compensation to their less economically fortunate counterparts. This can be called a green cover compensation or a green bonus. This will not only ensure that forest cover is protected but also some amount of economic development reaches the later regions.
Why is it in the news?
The Himalayan states have come together on a joint conclave to demand a separate ministry for their welfare and for a green bonus to be provided to the states for their forested land share. While the Himalayan States have a large green and a large segment of Indian rivers have their catchments in the Himalayas, It also puts the Himalayan States in a disadvantage as no developmental activities can be carried in large swathes of land which are eco-sensitive zones. A green bonus can be provided to the Himalayan States to make up for their economic shortcomings.