Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has the second-highest carbon reserves in the country.
NITI Aayog in its `State Energy and Climate Index’ report has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir has 94.5 tonnes of carbon stock per hectare of forest land. Andaman and Nicobar tops the list with 96.4 tons of carbon stock per hectare.
Carbon stock refers to the amount of carbon stored in forests in the form of biomass, soil, deadwood, and litter. An increase in green cover and carbon stock indicates a healthy trend to deal with global warming.
The report said that the emission intensity of Carbon in Jammu and Kashmir forests is 98.2 tonnes per hectare.
The administration has initiated ‘Har Gaon Hariyali’ in consonance with the vision of ‘Green Jammu and Kashmir’ to ensure sustainable development and promote climate justice. It aims to increase the Carbon stock, especially in villages located near degraded forests.
The report said that forest cover has improved in Jammu and Kashmir, which has led to an increase in Carbon stock. It highlighted that the forest cover has increased by 9 percent at the national level.
A recent Forest Survey of India report revealed that Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed an increase in the total forest cover in the last three years.
The forest area has increased to 21,387 sq km in 2021, from 21,358 sq km in 2019. The increase in open forests is led by commercial plantations.
Nearly 47.80% of Jammu and Kashmir’s geographical area is covered by forests. Economically, the forests in Jammu and Kashmir generate 2 million man-days of employment and have a monetary value equivalent to Rs 1.93 lakh crore.
The government has allocated Rs 200.76 crore for the Forest, Ecology, and Environment Sector under Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) for 2022-23. It is Rs 9.01 crore more than the previous year.