EDF (Eco-Development Forces) Scheme
Eco-Development Forces Scheme was established in 1980s as a scheme being implemented through Ministry of Defence for ecological restoration of terrains, rendered difficult either due to severe degradation or remote location or difficult law and order situation. The scheme of Eco-Development Forces is based on twin objectives of ecological regeneration in difficult areas, and promotion of meaningful employment to ex-servicemen. Under this scheme, the establishment and operational expenditure on the Eco Task Force (ETF) Battalions raised by Ministry of Defence is reimbursed by Ministry of Environment and Forests while the inputs like sapling, fencing, etc. and also the professional and managerial guidance is provided by the State Forest Departments. In ETF battalions, the Ministry of Defence deploys its exservicemen, preferably from within the area of operation, whereas the nuclear core of the force is constituted of regular servicemen. Some of the ETF Battalions have undertaken successful eco-restoration of highly degraded sites, for example the limestone mining areas in the Mussoorie Hills.