Feb 2023

The Green Mandate Season 2, Ep. 1: Afforestation, Reforestation & Eco-Restoration in India with Dr. Faiyaz Khudsar

Tuesday, 7 Feb 2023, 5:30 pm-Tuesday, 7 Feb 2023, 7:30 pm

The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy invites you to the first episode of Season 2 of THE GREEN MANDATE on ‘Afforestation, Reforestation & Eco-Restoration in India’ in conversation with noted wildlife conservationist and eco-restoration expert Dr. Faiyaz Khudsar. The conversation will take place at India International Centre Annexe, Lecture Room-II (New Delhi) on 7th February 2023  from 5:30 PM IST.

About the Discussion

Forests play a crucial role in addressing the issue of climate change by sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, protecting against soil erosion and desertification, and providing renewable resources for energy and other purposes. Forests also have other benefits such as supporting local livelihoods, improving air quality, and preserving biodiversity.

India has set a target of increasing its forest cover to 33% of its total land area by the year 2030. The National Forest Policy, 1988 also sets a goal to maintain one-third of the total land area of India covered by forests or trees. In India, afforestation is promoted through a variety of policies and programs such as the National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board and the Green India Mission. Additionally, various state governments in India also have their own policies and programs to promote forestry activities. For instance, the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) oversees the management of funds created by the Indian government to compensate for the loss of forest cover due to developmental activities such as infrastructure projects, mining, and industrial development. The money for the fund comes towards compensatory afforestation, penal compensatory afforestation, Net Present Value (NPV) and all other amounts recovered from such agencies under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Afforestation campaigns are also gaining momentum in the civil society sector with the increasing interest from the corporates (under Corporate Social Responsibility) and other philanthropic entities towards climate mitigation through plantations. Thus, the government, private sector and civil society are playing key roles in achieving India’s forest goals by way of funding support, technical expertise, and other resources.

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, an initiative launched by the United Nations General Assembly in 2021 aims to scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems, such as forests, wetlands, grasslands, etc with the goal of achieving a net gain in the extent and quality of such ecosystems by 2030 by implementing relevant policies and practices. The UN Decade runs from 2021 through 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Forestation programmes are an important mitigation strategy for Green House Gases (GHG) emissions. However, the efficacy of such forestation campaigns in India are disputed. There are examples where plantations have led to net increase in tree cover but their adverse impact on natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and the ecosystem services have outweighed their net climate or ecosystem benefits. 

Therefore, there is a need to understand various nuances of the forestation and other eco-restoration programs as well as  develop a policy framework for such programs to be successful in terms of climate mitigation, biodiversity conservation and community benefits. 

In  the first episode of season 2 of The Green Mandate, Debadityo Sinha, Lead, (Climate & Ecosystems), Vidhi will be in conversation with Dr Faiyaz Khudsar, Scientist In-Charge, Biodiversity Parks Program, Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems (CEMDE), University of Delhi and try to understand the different nuances of forestation and eco-restoration programs and policy of India.

About the Speaker

Dr Faiyaz Ahmad Khudsar is a professor level faculty at Biodiversity Parks Programme, CEMDE, University of Delhi. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of establishment & management of biodiversity parks, biodiversity assessment & monitoring, wetland management, environmental education & communication, and community participation in conservation. Dr Khudsar is presently Scientist In-Charge of the ‘Biodiversity Parks Program’ at CEMDE, University of Delhi and leading a team of scientists, technical staff, and a many multi-tasking staff for planning, restoring, and implementing habitat development and management to establish biological communities and wetland ecosystems. He is also an expert member at Chhattisgarh State Biodiversity Board and has been a member of several court appointed committees for providing technical assistance in the establishment, management and restoration of biodiversity parks and wetlands. Dr Khudsar’s research on Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary was relied on by  the Supreme Court while directing the Asiatic Lion Translocation project from Gir. Dr Khudsar has been awarded the Carl Zeiss Roll of Honour 2008, for excellence in wildlife conservation. 

About The Green Mandate 

THE GREEN MANDATE provides a platform for an in-depth conversation on such issues affecting current conservation challenges and aims at developing a deeper public discourse on the law and policy aspects of it. (Watch the first season of The Green Mandate here). 

The Climate and Ecosystems team at Vidhi is supported by Rainmatter Foundation and Sandeep Singhal. 


7th February 2023, Tuesday, 18.00-19.30 HRS (IST)

India International Centre, Lecture Room-II, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi 110003

17.30 hrs: Tea and Snacks

18.00 hrs: Introduction of the Speaker and Presentation of the Issue

18.15 hrs: Discussion with Dr Faiyaz Khudsar

19.00 hrs: Q&A Session with Audience

The event is open for all, but prior registration is recommended. Fill the form below to RSVP. The event will not be live-streamed.