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'India has not got enough credit for afforestation'

Gurgaon, July 19 (IANS) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a green appeal from India's Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh - back India's call to reward countries that have taken the lead in increasing their forest cover.

2009-07-19T17:49:00Z

Gurgaon, July 19 (IANS) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a green appeal from India's Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh - back India's call to reward countries that have taken the lead in increasing their forest cover.

Addressing the ITC green building event in Gurgaon Sunday that was attended by Clinton, Ramesh said India is launching a major programme to regenerate its forest cover.

'We are just embarking on a close to three billion dollar programme (to begin with) to regenerate our natural forests that already cover some 165 million acres, roughly the size of Texas,' said Ramesh.

'This is one of the largest carbon sinks in the world - and a sink that will only grow in size and impact. In this connection, I seek your support for India's proposals to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, REDD+ - that is to acknowledge and reward countries that are in the business of actually expanding forest cover,' he said.

'India has not got enough credit in international forums for the enormous work it is doing on forestry. We have made specific proposals to the UN framework convention which I will be discussing with Special Envoy Todd Stern on giving credit to countries like India that are actually in the business of expanding forest cover and not just arresting deforestation,' Ramesh added.

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