By Richa Sharma | Express News Service | Published: 28th September 2016 08:46 PM |
NEW DELHI: Concerned over threats being posed by alien plant species, Ministry of Environment and Forests has decided to launch a programme to improve forest quality through proper management of invasive alien species.
The ministry has decided to analyse alien plant species and is getting World Bank’s Global Environment Facility grant for India’s Ecosystem Services improvement Project (ESIP). Under ESIP, which is expected to cost around US Dollar 1.5 million, the ministry will develop models to improve forest quality through proper management of invasive alien species.
“An advertisement has been issued to hire an agency for the purpose which will need to manage and control alien invasive species in selected area of around 30,000 hectares in Central Indian highlands region,” said a senior environment ministry official.
For the purpose, sites will first be chosen in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The agency selected will also hold widespread consultations across the country for developing a national research agenda and strategies for specific invasive alien species.
As per MoEFCC, invasive alien species are those whose introduction and spread outside their natural habitats threatens biological diversity. India has an estimated species count of 18,000 plants, 30 mammals,4 birds, 300 freshwater fishes and 1,100 arthropods that are invasive.
The focus of the project is in line with India’s Green India Mission (GIM) whose objective is to improve forest quality over five million hectares area.
Under the project, innovative approaches and field-based activities for invasive species removal, replanting with native species and biological control will also be developed.
The agency, which will be selected, would also be expected to collaborate with different research institutions that have been working on developing technologies and techniques for removal of invasive species in developing the framework and approaches for managing invasive alien species.