Centre will soon come out with a new forest policy, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday said while asking states to frame their own policies so that the target of achieving 33 per cent forest cover throughout the country is achieved.
He said that his Ministry will in July convene a meeting of state Forest and Environment ministers regarding the issue and to deliberate on other aspects related to improving forest quality, scientific management of forests will also be done.
The Union minister said that his Ministry will also frame courses aimed at enhancing skills for people working in the field of environment, forest and climate change.
Referring to the launch of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the Paris Climate change summit, he noted that it has tremendous employment potential worldwide and has helped Indian youths, equipped with the new skill sets, get employment.
"We are reviewing our forest policy. Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) has done basic work with public consultation and field visits. Now we will discuss it with stakeholders and take it to a logical conclusion and have a new forest policy.
"At the same time, we are also urging states to come out with their comprehensive and relevant forest policies so that forest grows more and we achieve the target of 33 per cent of forest cover," Javadekar said during an interaction on Transforming India on mygov.in.
Javadekar said that the meeting of all Environment ministers will be held in July. From the agenda which was finalised yesterday, the most important one is how to save forests and make it more prosperous.
"Its a challenging work. On one hand we have to improve the quality of forest, improve methods of scientific management of forest, use degraded land which is 30 per cent of forest area, we also have to incentivise more forest cover outside forest area," he said.
Noting that Rs 40,000 crore worth of timber is imported, he said that his Ministry has prepared guidelines for a PPP model in which degraded land will be given on lease to private companies who can harvest wood, use it and continue the chain which will help in creating more carbon sink.
At the same time, Javadekar said that all the departments and ministries have been asked to prepare their climate action plans.
Elaborating on his Ministry's plans for taking forward the clean energy solutions, Javadekar said that while on one hand, skill set improvement courses will be framed, on the other hand, the subject of environment will also be brought up in school and college curriculum.
"Whatever work is done on environment, new technologies will be used and that will give rise to employment. We held a meeting with officials.
"Within one month, the new skill sets which is required in the field of environment, forest and climate will be developed," Javadekar said adding that the duration of these courses may be of one month, three months, six months and one year.
He said that challenges gives rise to opportunity and that opportunity will be employment.
"When the International Solar Alliance, launched under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, starts in various parts of the world, the technicians and youths of India equipped with new skill sets, will have tremendous employment opportunity and they will get jobs in the entire world," he said.