National Working Plan Code-2023

Current Affairs, Environment & Ecology

Why in News:

The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has recently released the “National Working Plan Code-2023” aimed at promoting scientific forest management and introducing innovative approaches.

Important Points:

  • The “National Working Plan Code-2023” was launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change during the ‘World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought’ event organized by the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) in Dehradun.
  • India stands among the select few countries in the world that have a scientific system for managing forests.
  • The working plan serves as a crucial tool for implementing scientific forest management in India. The National Working Plan Code, first adopted in 2004 with an amendment in 2014, ensures consistency and serves as a guiding principle for preparing working plans that facilitate the scientific management of different forest divisions across the country.
  • Forest management in India aims at various objectives, including environmental stability, preservation of natural heritage, controlling soil erosion and catchment area denudation, managing dunes expansion, increasing tree and forest cover with community participation, and enhancing forest productivity.
  • The field of scientific forest management, both in India and globally, is continuously evolving with new techniques, technologies, and innovations. As such, it is essential to adapt and meet the evolving requirements of forest management and the needs of people dependent on these resources.

National Working Plan Code-2023:

  • The “National Working Plan Code-2023” will serve as a guiding principle for State Forest Departments in developing working plans for different forest divisions in the country.
  • It extensively covers the essentials of forest management planning and incorporates principles of sustainable forest management.
  • Key aspects addressed include forest and tree cover extent and condition, biodiversity conservation (including wildlife), forest health and vitality, soil and water resource conservation and management, forest resource productivity enhancement, and social, economic, cultural, and spiritual benefits preservation and improvement. Additionally, the appropriate policy, legal, and institutional framework is provided.
  • Notably, the National Working Plan Code-2023 introduces the requirement for state forest departments to engage in continuous data collection and updating through a centralized database.
  • The “Indian Forest Management Standard,” an integral part of the code, considers the diverse forest ecosystems in India while striving for uniformity in management.
  • The Standards for Sustainable Forest Management are incorporated in the Indian Forest Management Standard, based on long-term experiences of scientific forest management in India and aligned with international criteria and indicators. These standards would enable the State Forest Departments to assess the effectiveness of management practices against the prescriptions of Working Plans.

Google search