Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Press Release from Climate Scorecard: India's Draft Forest Policy will be counterproductive to the country's Paris Goals!

India’s Draft Forest Policy will be counterproductive to the country’s Paris Climate Commitments: says Climate Scorecard, a global civil society coalition!

New Delhi, 23rd May 2018 – The Climate Scorecard, that tracks the implementation of Paris Climate Commitments of top Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitting countries, has analysed the Draft Forest Policy 2018 of India and has found out that it has potential to derail the country’s Paris Goals.  “We have found the policy to be a retrogressive, state-centered policy in intent, even as concepts like climate change and REDD+ are liberally sprinkled in the text”, said Ranjan Panda, Country Manager for India of the Climate Scorecard, in a press release.

“It is similar in intent and purposes to the Compensatory Afforestation Funds Act, 2016 scored by us last month, in that it seeks to enhance the control of forest departments over forests at the cost of communities. Given the past record of forest bureaucracy in India, there is little hope that this exclusionary, bureaucracy-centered forest policy will yield any positive results in mitigation and adaptation of climate change, and likely will have very negative outcomes”, said Ranjan Panda.

Ranjan Panda further said, “Our assessment found out that the 2018 Draft Forest Policy walks back on the gains of 1988 Forest Policy and the Forest Rights Act and seeks to go back to a state and private sector-based forest governance, which would not be healthy for India’s natural forests as well as climate commitments”.  

“The policy does recognise the challenges of ‘Climate Change’ but its strategies have been criticised by conservationists, ecologists, tribals and community representatives. The main criticisms are: i) its use of climate change threats to recentralise power with the forest bureaucracy at the cost of communities; ii) its deliberate subversion of the landmark Forest Rights Act; and iii) it facilitates grabbing of burdened forest lands by private companies for industrial plantations”, said Ranjan Panda in the release.

Ranjan Panda further said that, “The immense opportunity for climate change mitigation and adaptation through a rights based forest protection and restoration movement provided by the Forest Rights Act has been totally ignored in this new Forest Policy draft”.

The Draft Forest Policy 2018 has been given ONE STAR* rank by the Climate Scorecard because it contains strategies for climate change mitigation which are unworkable; fails to recognise the rights of tribal and forest dweller communities of forests; promotes industrial plantations by the private sector that may impact India’s Paris Climate Goals negatively, informed Panda.

The report-cum-alert for India can be assessed at:

For further details, contact:

Ranjan Panda
Country Manager for India, Climate Scorecard
Convenor, Combat Climate Change Network, India
Mobile: +91 9437050103/7008706434
Tweet @ranjanpanda


Climate Scorecard is a global initiative to ensure that the Paris Agreement meets its goal of preventing the earth’s atmosphere from exceeding the 2 degree Celsius global warming tipping point. Recent scientific reports, e.g. by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) warn that country emission reduction pledges, made to the Paris Agreement, are insufficient to prevent this from happening. Therefor Climate Scorecard is supporting a global campaign aimed at persuading leading greenhouse gas emitting countries to take further steps to reduce their emissions so that the Paris Agreement does not fail. This campaign, carried out through social media and in collaboration with local partner organizations, will provide citizens with monthly News Briefs and Action Alert messages about what their countries are or are not doing to further their commitment to the Paris Agreement. Climate Scorecard is an open source initiative managed through a partnership of two non-profit organizations-The Global Citizens Initiative ( and EarthAction      (  )
Learn More:
*About the Rating System
Climate Scorecard uses a 4-star system to rate the country activities we report on each month:
The country is Moving Forward to combat climate change and support the Paris Agreement
The country is moving in the Right Direction but needs to do more to reach its NDC pledges
The country is Standing Still, with no change in either direction
The country is Falling Behind, and the activity is counterproductive to its Paris Agreement goals

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