Communities Restore Forests Across India

Late 1990sIndia

"India is one of only a few countries in the world to reverse their once-high rates of deforestation, stabilize forest cover, and reduce emissions from land use change....Innovative policies, beginning in the late 1980s, drove action at all levels of Indian society from the national government to rural communities....thousands of communities nationwide were enrolled in decentralized forest management programs, setting the stage for a remarkable turnaround in deforestation....Policies first developed in the colonial era promoted the commercial use of forests over conservation or the preservation of biodiversity, resulting in severe deforestation and degradation....Forests now cover 68 million hectares...Between 2005 and 2010, India added 145,000 hectares of forest area per year. The country's land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) sector is a net carbon sink, sequestering 177 million tons CO2eq as of 2007. This is a marked improvement from 1994, when the LULUCF sector contributed 14.3 million tons CO2 eq to India's global warming emissions annually."

"Deforestation Success Stories, Tropical Nations Where Forest Protection and Reforestation Policies Have Worked," Union of Concerned Scientists, June 2014.

Courtesy of Karunakar Rayker