Ministry has formulated the National Forestry Action Programme (NFAP) and released it on 9th August, 1999. It is a comprehensive workplan for sustainable development of forests in the country in next twenty years as well as to achieve the national goal of 33% geographic area of the country under the forest and tree cover as enshrined in the National Forest Policy, 1988. This exercise has been undertaken as a part of the programme recommended by the United Nations Conference for Environment and Development (UNCED) and its subsequent forum, the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and Intergovernmental Panel on Forestry (IPF) for the launch of National Forest Programmes globally.
Government of India has started the work of NFAP preparation in 1993 under the Project IND/93/021 of UNDP and FAO. A guideline was circulated to all States/UTs with the request to prepare the State Forestry Action Programme (SFAP). Later on, Ministry prepared a comprehensive workplan as NFAP, taking into account the proposals of SFAPs from 25 States and one UT of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the recommendations of regional and national workshops, held during the NFAP process. The NFAP (in two volumes) and an executive summary has been released by the Ministry on 9th August, 1999 and was also presented to UNDP and FAO.
The document highlights the status of forestry in India with problems and constraints in volume 1 and also suggests the action required and investment estimates to achieve the objectives in volume 2. Total financial proposal to achieve the goals mandated in the National Forest Policy, 1988 and for the sustainable development of forests in the country has been estimated as Rs.1139 billion in the workplan of 20 years. It is nearly five times of the current level investments. Mobilisation of funds of this magnitude is the real challenge before the country.
Ministry, with the collaborations of UNDP and FAO, organised a conference on International Agencies’ Support to National Forest Programme-India on 27th September, 1999 in Vigyan Bhawan to apprise donors of the programme and to mobilise funds for its implementation. Besides the national delegates from all the states and institutions, 27 delegates from International Donor Agencies stationed at Delhi participated in the conference and deliberated regarding the implementation of NFAP-India. Hon’ble Minister of Environment and forests has delivered the keynote address. Minister of State for Environment and Forests also addressed the delegates regarding the problems recently faced by the country in forestry sector. The participants recommended that donors from their headquarters may be invited for a round table conference in January 2000 to deliberate in detail for funding.