The National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (NAEB), established in August 1992,is responsible for promoting afforestation,tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country, with special attention to the degraded forest areas and lands adjoining the forest areas, national parks, sanctuaries and other protected areas as well as the ecologically fragile areas like the Western Himalayas, Aravallis, Western Ghats, etc.
The detailed role and functions of the NAEB are given below.
- Includes mechanisms for ecological restoration of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands through systematic planning and implementation, in a cost-effective manner;
- Conserve through natural regeneration or appropriate intervention the forest cover in the country for ecological security and to meet the fuelwood, fodder and other needs of the rural communities;
- Conserve fuelwood, fodder, timber, and other forest produce on the degraded forest and adjoining lands in order to meet the demands for these items;
- Sponsor research and extension of research findings to disseminate new and proper technologies for the regeneration and development of eroded forest areas and adjoining lands;
- Organize general awareness and help foster people’s movement for promoting afforestation and eco-development with the assistance of voluntary agencies, non-government organizations, Panchayati Raj institutions, and others and promote participatory and sustainable management of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands;
- Coordinate and study the Action Plans for afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development
- Undertake all other steps important for promoting afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country.
NAP scheme under National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board
It continues to be the flagship scheme of NAEB, in so much as it gives help, both in physical and capacity building terms, to the Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) which in turn are the main organs to move forward institutionalization of Joint Forest Management. The FDA has been conceived and set up a federation of Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) at the Forest Division level to undertake holistic development in the forestry sector with people’s participation. This is a paradigm transfer from the earlier afforestation programmes wherein funds were routed through the State Governments. This decentralized two-tier institutional structure (FDA and JFMC) permits greater participation of the community, both in planning and implementation, to improve forests and livelihoods of the people living in and around forest areas. The village is reckoned as a unit of planning and implementation and all works under the programme are conceptualized at the village level. The two-tier approach, other than from building capacities at the grassroots level, significantly empowers the local people to participate in the decision-making process. Under Entry Point Activities, community assets are made with ‘care and share’ concept.