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Coal PSUs turn 50,000 hectares into green forests

India's coal and lignite PSUs have transformed 50,000 hectares of barren land into green forests, absorbing 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 annually, supporting India's NDC targets and combating desertification.

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: June 4, 2024, 06:31 AM - 3 mins read

India's coal PSUs transform 50,000 hectares into green forests

Coal PSUs turn 50,000 hectares into green forests

Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Amrit Lal Meena stated the report aims to enhance green cover in coal regions using innovative techniques like seed ball planting, drone seeding, and Miyawaki methods.


India's coal and lignite Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) have transformed approximately 50,000 hectares of barren land in and around coal mining regions into green forests capable of absorbing 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, according to a report released by the Coal Ministry on Tuesday.

 

The report, published to mark World Environment Day on June 5, states that this achievement includes the biological reclamation of de-coaled land covering around 29,592 hectares, additional plantation efforts like avenue plantation within mine leaseholds accounting for roughly 12,673 hectares, and plantation activities outside mine leaseholds covering about 7,735 hectares.

 

This initiative is expected to further contribute to India’s green cover, aiding in the fulfilment of the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) target of achieving a carbon absorption capacity of 2.5 to 3.0 billion tonnes by 2030.

 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The focus of World Environment Day 2024 is on land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience, under the slogan “Our Land. Our Future. We are #GenerationRestoration.” The theme highlights the importance of sustainable land management and rehabilitating degraded lands for a sustainable future.

 

The Coal Ministry report details extensive afforestation and ecological restoration projects undertaken by the PSUs, turning barren landscapes into thriving green areas. These initiatives combat desertification, enhance drought resilience, contribute to carbon sequestration, and conserve biodiversity.

 

Amrit Lal Meena, Secretary of the Ministry of Coal, stated that the report aims to inspire further green cover augmentation through innovative techniques like seed ball plantation, seed casting via drones, and Miyawaki plantation within coal mines by other entities. The report outlines ongoing efforts by the coal sector to increase green cover in coal regions through reclamation efforts.

 

The report emphasises the consistent efforts of Coal/Lignite PSUs to mitigate the environmental impact of coal mining through reclamation and afforestation. It documents greening initiatives in both closed and active coal mines and provides a blueprint for a more sustainable future.

 

The data has been validated through Remote Sensing Studies and on-site ground-truthing surveys at selected locations. This report stands as the first comprehensive documentation of baseline data on greening efforts by Coal/Lignite PSUs, setting a standard for future scientific investigations.

 

A roadmap for future plantation initiatives until the fiscal year 2029-2030 has been outlined, considering advancements in land reclamation and the sustainable utilisation of mining-degraded lands.

 

Coal/Lignite PSUs are employing scientific reclamation techniques for mined-out lands, following technical and biological schedules outlined in mining plans. They are also pioneering community-oriented land uses such as restored forests, eco-parks, and eco-tourism sites.

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