This greening initiatives of the coal sector support India’s Nationally Determined Contributions commitment to create additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
The ministry of coal today announced an ambitious target for coal companies to bring more than 2,400 hectare of land in and around coalfields under green cover with plantation of more than 50 lakh saplings during 2022-23.
The coal ministry says that the identified areas include reclaimed mined out areas of coal companies and areas outside of leasehold. These land stretches are amenable for plantation and are made available by state government agencies.
As of now, greening drive is in full swing in coal mining areas and about 1,000 hectares of land has already been covered through block plantation, avenue plantation, grassland creation, bamboo plantation and high-tech cultivation and coal companies are confident of surpassing this year’s greening targets.
This greening initiatives of the coal sector support India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) commitment to create additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
The coal ministry, speaking for the coal industry, said that the sector strives to promote a sustainable model of development in which coal production concurs with steps to protect the environment, conserve natural resources, care for society and measures to protect our forests and wildlife.
“Coal companies have not only effectively met the rising energy demand of the country at the current time of global energy crisis, but have also shown their sensitivity and carefulness towards environment by adopting various mitigation measures including extensive plantation in and around coal bearing areas and reclamation of mined out lands,” the ministry said in a press release.
“Afforestation is a proven way of restoration of lands damaged by anthropogenic activities and must for achieving satisfactory rehabilitation of a mined landscape,” the release reads. “It helps in minimizing the footprints of coal mining, prevents soil erosion, stabilises the climate, preserves wild life and enhances quality of air and watersheds”.
On a global scale, it mitigates climate change through carbon sequestration and also results in economic growth of the region, the ministry claimed, adding that the goal of Indian coal industry is to secure availability of coal to meet the demand of various sectors of the economy while minimising the impact of mining on the environment and to improve the quality of life for local residents.