Knowledge Base

Indian Forest & Wood Certification Scheme launched to promote Sustainable Management of forests and agroforestry

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has launched the Indian Forest & Wood Certification Scheme. This national forest certification scheme offers voluntary third-party certification designed to promote sustainable forest management and agroforestry in the country. The scheme includes forest management certification, tree outside forest management certification, and chain of custody certification.

The Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme can provide market incentives to various entities that adhere to responsible forest management and agroforestry practices in their operations. This includes state forest departments, individual farmers, or Farmer Producer Organizations engaged in agroforestry and farm forestry, as well as other wood-based industries in the value chain.

The Forest Management certification is based on the Indian Forest Management Standard, consisting of 8 criteria, 69 indicators and 254 verifiers, which is an integral part of the National Working Plan Code 2023, launched earlier this year. A separate Trees Outside Forests Standard, is now introduced as a part of the newly launched Indian Forest & Wood Certification Scheme.

The Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme, will be overseen by the Indian Forest and Wood Certification Council, which will act as a multistakeholder advisory body. The Council is represented by members from eminent institutions such as Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Forest Survey of India, Quality Council of India, Indian Institute of Forest Management including representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and Ministry of Commerce and Industry, State Forest Departments, Forest Development Corporations, and representatives from wood-based industries.

Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal will act as the scheme operating agency and will be responsible for overall management of the Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme.

The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies under the Quality Council of India will accredit the certification bodies which will carry out independent audits and assess adherence of various entities on the standards prescribed under the scheme.

Click here to see scheme details

Large stretches of key forests may be exempted in new Act

Large stretches of key forests may be exempted in new Act.

The focus of the bill is to ensure areas of strategic importance for the country are exempted from the purview of the Forest Conservation Act.

Large stretches of forests along the international borders in Himalayan states including the northeast; primary forests in parts of Central India; and forests with unclear records such as the Aravallis in Haryana may all be exempted from prior forest clearance for projects under the Forest Conservation Amendment Bill 2023, environmentalists and activists said.

The bill was referred to a select committee of Parliament on Wednesday, prompting protests that it should ideally have been referred to the concerned standing committee.

One of the major provisions of the bill is to cover only land that has been declared or notified as a forest under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 or under any other law. Forest land that is not protected under the Indian Forest Act but has been recorded in any government record as forest as on or after the 25th October, 1980 will continue to be covered under the Forest Conservation Act and hence diversion of these lands would involve obtaining prior forest clearance. But, vast areas that may have been classified as forest in government records prior to 1980 will now be exempt from the FC Act, environmentalists said.

The other major concerns are that the bill exempts forest land: situated within a distance of 100 km of an international borders or Line of Control or Line of Actual Control proposed to be used for construction of strategic linear project of national importance and concerning national security; up to 10 hectares proposed to be used for construction of security related infrastructure (doesn’t mention where); that is to be used for a defence related project or a camp for paramilitary forces or public utility projects, as may be specified by the Central Government, the extent of which does not exceed 5 hectares in a left-wing extremism affected area.

The bill is also silent on forests identified as per dictionary meaning of the word or deemed forests. One of the objectives of the bill is to remove any ambiguity around the Supreme Court’s December 12, 1996 judgement in TN Godavarman Thirumulpad vs. Union of India and others case where it directed that “forests” will not only include forest as understood in the dictionary sense, but also any area recorded as forest in Government records irrespective of the ownership.

“The title of the Act is Forest Conservation Act. The title also has been changed a bit now to “Van (Sanrakshan Evam Samvardhan) Adhiniyam. No project with strategic importance is ever rejected so the fact that because of FC Act you cannot divert land is a misplaced idea. So, the FC Act was essentially ensuring that there is some scrutiny and certain conditions are prescribed that are needed to mitigate the damage that is caused. Now, once they are exempted from forest clearance also means there will be no safeguards,” said Ritwick Dutta, an environmental lawyer.

He added that by not mentioning the provision on the dictionary meaning of forest, the bill runs contrary to the 1996 order of the Supreme Court. “ There are essentially three definitions of forests—areas notified as forests under Indian Forest Act and other laws; areas recorded as forest in any government record and the third area that meets dictionary meaning of forests. This was also highlighted in SC judgement on Aravallis. This bill does away with the third category now.”

That 1996 ruling provided “teeth” to the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, according to Debadityo Sinha, Lead- Climate & Ecosystems, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy. This, he added, “ played the most significant role in preventing further damage to the forest areas across the country for decades. Especially because much of the forest areas we see today are not government notified, and they exist as ecologically and wildlife rich forest areas of Aravalli, Central Indian forests, Western Ghats, etc. By limiting the scope of the Act to only those forests recorded on or after 25th October 1980, the government has made all such forest tracts vulnerable to exploitation for mining, power generation, resorts, farmhouses, safari zones and whatever one can imagine.”

The 1996 ruling also protected areas that were not notified or recorded as forests but were forests of natural origin, explained Chetan Agarwal, an environmental analyst.

“This category has provided succour and protection to many big and small natural forest patches. In this context the silence of the draft amendment text and its objects and reasons on ‘forest as per dictionary meaning’ is .”

“As the Bill has been introduced in the Parliament, no comments please,” said a senior official of the environment ministry.

Source: Hindustan Times, Mar 31, 2023

India lost forest cover in the last 30 years

India lost 668,400 ha of forest cover in the last 30 years

India clocked in the second highest rate of deforestation among countries worldwide between 1990 and 2020.

What are the facts? India ranked the second highest for the rate of deforestation after losing 668,400 hectares of forest cover in the last 30 years, a report by UK-based Utility Bidder said. Brazil and Indonesia clocked in at first and third respectively with Brazil recording 1,695,700 hectares and Indonesia recording 650,000 hectares of deforestation. India also topped the chart for biggest increase in deforestation between 1990 and 2020 with a difference of 284,400 hectares in forestry loss.

What is the context?

  • The study highlighted the trend of deforestation of 98 countries with data collated from 1990 to 2000 and from 2015 to 2020 by Our World In Data, an online data repository.
  • India’s deforestation rose from 384,000 hectares between 1990 and 2000 to 668,400 hectares between 2015 and 2020, Down to Earth noted.
  • India plans to restore 20 million hectares of its forest cover by 2030.

Why does it matter?

  • The biggest contributor to increased deforestation is climate change, with 10 million hectares of land getting affected every year.
  • Brazil has lost 1,695,700 hectares of forests between 2015 and 2020, with climate change throwing rainfall and temperature off balance, affecting their growth.
  • In India, the study blamed pressures due to expanding human settlements: “As the country with the second largest population in the world, India has had to compensate for the increase in residents – this has come at a cost in the way of deforestation.”
  • An annual destruction of 2,105,753 hectares has been attributed to cattle, the agricultural product “most responsible for deforestation.”
  • This is followed by oilseeds – particularly palm oil in Indonesia – and forestry logging which has caused 950,609 and 678,744 hectares of deforestation respectively.
Source: THE HINDU BUREAU March 21, 2023 

Mangifera and Dalbergia investigation reveals integrity concerns in India

Mangifera and Dalbergia investigation reveals integrity concerns in India

The final results of the Mangifera and Dalbergia wood species transaction verification loop (TV loop) highlight a number of supply chain integrity concerns pertaining to FSC certificate holders, specifically from India. The main findings include fraudulent documentation and large volumes of false claims.

FSC has blocked the following companies as a result of this TV loop and in accordance with normative provisions for dealing with false claims (ADV-40-004-18):

Village Impex: SA-COC-008289, terminated and blocked

Sambhav Timber and Handicraft: SCS-COC-006449, terminated and blocked

Patel Veneers: SCS-COC-004429, terminated and blocked

FSC and its assurance partner, Assurance Services International (ASI), launched a TV loop on FSC-certified Mangifera spp. and Dalbergia spp. supply chains from all over the world, in July 2020. Based on the preliminary results of the transaction data analysis, ASI identified seven high-risk supply chain clusters originating in India.

An investigation of these supply chain clusters revealed that:

  • Several Indian certificate holders trading in FSC-certified wood from these two species have made false FSC claims in their transactions. The volume of FSC-certified timber declared by the FM/COC* (forest management/chain of custody) certificate holders does not match the volume of wood that has been used by chain of custody certificate holders.
  • In the supply chains originating in India, there is a high risk of non-eligible timber being sold with FSC claims because only one FM/COC certificate holder from India has these two species of wood in their certification scope.
  • Some certificate holders created fraudulent transaction documents which are indicative of potential false claims.

According to FSC’s database on certificate holders, there are few FM/COC certificate holders with Mangifera and Dalbergia in their certification scope. Therefore, certificate holders belonging to the two supply chains of these two wood species need to implement strong due diligence measures when selecting their timber sourcing partners – both, for FSC certified timber and FSC controlled wood and controlled material.

Based on the findings of this TV loop, ASI has recommended that a number of Indian companies as well as certificate holders from other countries are blocked from the FSC system. In addition to the companies already blocked, FSC is assessing ASI’s recommendations about blocking the other companies who have intentionally violated FSC requirements. FSC will take strong action against such companies to ensure that the integrity of the FSC system is not harmed.

ASI has also provided recommendations about changes required in FSC’s normative documents to strengthen supply chain integrity and address the gaps that have emerged in the system from this TV loop.

*FM/COC: This is one type of FSC certification which includes management of forest concessions and permission to sell timber harvested from these concessions with 100% FSC claim.

Advice Note 18 (ADV-40-004-18) is available on page 30 of this document.

Source: FSC News, 4 November 2022

Planning Process for Development of Forests

Planning Process for Development of Forests

The National Forest Policy, 1988 provides that the holders of customary rights and concessions in forest areas should be motivated to identify themselves with the protection and development of forest from which they derive benefits.

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of forest Rights) Act, 2006 (in short FRA) is an act to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded.

Section 3(1)(i) of FRA provides rights to forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and of other traditional forest dwellers to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use. Section 5 of FRA provides as under: –

The holders of any forest right, Gram Sabha and village level institutions in areas where there are holders of any forest right under this Act are empowered to-

(a) Protect the wild life, forest and biodiversity;

(b) Ensure that adjoining catchments area, water source and other ecological sensitive areas are adequately protected;

(c) Ensure that the habitat of forest dwelling Scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers is preserved from any form of destructive practices affecting their cultural heritage;

(d) Ensure that the decisions taken in the Gram Sabha to regulate access to community forest resources and stop any activity which adversely affects the wild animals, forest and the biodiversity are compiled with.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change have issued a joint communication dated 06.07.2021 to all States/UTs for effective implementation of FRA. As per FRA and rules made there under, State Governments are responsible for implementation of the Act.

Beware while selecting FSC Certification Services providers India

Beware while selecting FSC Certification Services providers India

FSC Certification Bodies and FSC Certification Service providers need to be carefully selected and their past credentials should be verified. Consultants listed on popular B2B portal (like INDIAMART) are claiming quick fix on FSC certifications services should not be entertained.

Customer reference, along with the verification of customer’s certificate could be the way to find out the Certification Body’s claim to deliver the FSC Certificates.

With a rise in fake certification providers and FSC consultants claiming to provide FSC certification in lieu of basic company details are proving to be a menace for small and large companies across the country.

Earlier in 2021, FSC received information that two United Kingdom-registered entities, UK Merit Assessments Ltd. and United Accredium Certification and Inspection Limited, posed as authentic certification bodies and provided counterfeit FSC certificates in the Indian market.

Source: FSC News, 22 July 2021


New Forest Conservation Rules, 2022

New Forest Conservation Rules, 2022

As per the provisions of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, the Approval of the Central Government under the Forest (Conservation), Act 1980 is a prior approval of the Central Government which does not directly lead to non-forestry use or breaking of forest land.  Process of approval for diversion of forest land culminates after issuance of final diversion order by the State Government or UT concerned which authorizes use of forest land for intended purpose and hands over the land to the user agency.

Provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022 under sub clause b(ii) of sub rule 6 of rule 9 provide that “The State Government or Union territory Administration, as the case may be, after receiving the ‘Final’ approval of the Central Government under Section 2 of the Act, and after fulfillment and compliance of the provisions of all other Acts and rules made there under, as applicable including ensuring settlement of rights under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (No. 2 of 2007), shall issue order for diversion, assignment of lease or dereservation, as the case may be” imply that Forest (Conservation) Rules,2022 emphasize the compliance of the provisions of all Acts and Rules.

Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022 have been promulgated solely to implement the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Process as envisaged in the Act and the rules framed there under is a parallel process with other statutory processes. The Rules do not inhibit the commencement of processes envisaged in other laws like Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Land Acquisition Act, 1896, Forest Rights Act, 2006, etc. Provisions envisaged in other statutory laws can be undertaken simultaneously by the respective nodal implementing agencies. The State Government or Union territory may ensure compliance of such statutes at the very initial or at any other stage as the provisions of Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022 do not bar the authorities to do so, but in in any case, it should be done before handing over forest land to the user agency.

Read the press release here.

Contact us for any forestry regulations or consultation.

National afforestation programmes to improve the forest cover

The year-wise details of budgetary allocations and expenditure on national afforestation programmes, through the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) of the Ministry, National Afforestation Programme (NAP) and National Mission for a Green India (GIM) from 2017-18 to 2021-22, are  as under:

(Amount in Rupees in crore)

Year 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22

(as on  24th January,2022)

Budget Allocated NAP 80.00 GIM










Expenditure 80.00 46.99 176.73* 193.63* 158.04* 200.13*

*Combined allocation and expenditure for Green India Mission-National Afforestation Programme.

NAP has been the flagship afforestation scheme of the Ministry, implemented since year 2000 on pan India basis, for afforestation in identified degraded forest areas with people’s participation and decentralised forest governance. GIM activities were started in 2015-16. NAP and GIM, along with other afforestation schemes, have been contributing in restoration of degraded forest areas in the country. This has helped in stabilization and increase in the extent of forest cover, which is evident from the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) published by Forest Survey of India (FSI). The latest India State of Forest Report (ISFR 2021) revealed that the total forest and tree cover of the country is 8,09,537 square kilometres (which is 24.62 percent of the geographical area of the country) compared to 7,94,245 sq km (24.16 percent) in ISFR 2015. This is an increase of 15,292 sq km of forest and tree cover of the country. The ISFRs also pointed out that the positive change could be attributed to conservation measures or management interventions such as afforestation activities, participation of local people for better protection in plantation areas as well as in traditional forest areas, expansion of trees outside forests, tree plantation drives etc.

In order to achieve the targeted objectives of national afforestation programmes, the Ministry has approved merger of NAP into Green India Mission (GIM) and accordingly financial allocation for both the schemes is provided under one budgetary head so that the overall greening efforts are augmented. The budget allocation for the merged scheme has increased from Rs. 160 crore in the year 2020-21 to Rs. 220 crore during the year 2021-22. Besides, the funds under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA)inter-alia, is used for forest and wildlife management related activities including compensatory afforestation.

The Ministry also promotes tree plantation as people’s movement through School Nursery Yojana and Nagar Van Yojana. Tree plantation/afforestation being the multi-departmental effort, taken up cross sector by various departments of the Centre and State Governments, Non-Government Organizations, civil society, corporate bodies etc. also contributes in achieving the targeted objectives of national afforestation programmes.

This information was given by Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change in Rajya Sabha today.

India State of Forest Report 2021 by the Forest Survey of India (FSI)

Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav, today released the ‘India State of Forest Report 2021’ prepared by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) which has been mandated to assess the forest and tree resources of the country.

Sharing the findings, the Minister informed that the total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.9 million hectare which is 24.62 percent of the geographical area of the country. As compared to the assessment of 2019, there is an increase of 2,261 sq km in the total forest and tree cover of the country.

The Minister expressed happiness over the fact that the present assessment reveals that 17 states/UT’s have above 33 percent of the geographical area under forest cover and stated that the focus of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is not just to conserve the forests quantitatively but to enrich it qualitatively.

The ISFR-2021 provides information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock, carbon stock in India’s forests, forest fire monitoring, forest cover in tiger reserve areas, above ground estimates of biomass using SAR data & climate change hotspots in Indian forests.


The total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.9 million hectare which is 24.62 percent of the geographical area of the country. As compared to the assessment of 2019, there is an increase of 2,261 sq km in the total forest and tree cover of the country. Out of this, the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 1,540 sq km and that in tree cover is 721 sq km.
Increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest followed by very dense forest. Top three states showing increase in forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km) followed by Telangana (632 sq km) and Odisha (537 sq km).
Area-wise Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (84.53%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33%), Meghalaya (76.00%), Manipur (74.34%) and Nagaland (73.90%).
17 states/UT’s have above 33 percent of the geographical area under forest cover. Out of these states and UT’s, five states/UTs namely Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have more than 75 percent forest cover while 12 states/UTs namely Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Goa, Kerala, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Assam, Odisha, have forest cover between 33 percent to 75 percent.
Total mangrove cover in the country is 4,992 sq km. An increase of 17 sq Km in mangrove cover has been observed as compared to the previous assessment of 2019. Top three states showing mangrove cover increase are Odisha (8 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km).
Total carbon stock in country’s forest is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes and there an increase of 79.4 million tonnes in the carbon stock of country as compared to the last assessment of 2019. The annual increase in the carbon stock is 39.7 million tonnes.


In tune with the Government of India’s vision of digital India and the need for integration of digital data sets, FSI has adopted using the vector boundary layers of various administrative units upto districts level as provided by Survey of India along with digital open series topo sheets, in order to ensure comprehensive compatibility with the geographical areas as reported in Census, 2011.

The biennial assessment of forest cover of the country using mid-resolution Satellite data is based on interpretation of LISS-III data from Indian Remote Sensing satellite data (Resourcesat-II) with a spatial resolution of 23.5 meters with the scale of interpretation 1:50,000 to monitor forest cover and forest cover changes at District, State and National level.

This information provides inputs for various global level inventories, reports such as GHG Inventory, Growing Stock, Carbon Stock, Forest Reference Level (FRL) and international reporting to UNFCCC targets under CBD Global Forest Resource Assessment (GFRA) for planning and scientific management of forests.

Satellite data for the entire country was procured from NRSC for the period October to December 2019. The satellite data interpretation is followed by rigorous ground truthing. Information from other collateral sources are also used to improve the accuracy of the interpreted image.

The accuracy level achieved in the current assessment is the significantly high. The accuracy of forest cover classification has been assessed 92.99%. The accuracy of classification between forest and non-forest classes has been assessed 95.79% against internationally accepted accuracy of classification of more than 85%. A rigorous QC & QA exercise was also carried out.


In the present ISFR 2021, FSI has included a new chapter related to the assessment of forest cover in the Tiger Reserves, Corridors and Lion conservation area of India. In this context, the decadal assessment of change in forest cover within Tiger Reserves, Corridors and Lion conservation area helps in assessing the impact of conservation measures and management interventions that have been implemented over the years.

For decadal assessment, change in forest cover, during the period between ISFR 2011 (data period 2008 to 2009) and the current cycle (ISFR 2021, data period 2019-2020) within each Tiger Reserves has been analysed.

A new initiative of FSI has also been documented in the form of a chapter, where the ‘Above Ground Biomass’ has been estimated. FSI, in collaboration with Space Application Centre (SAC), ISRO, Ahmedabad, initiated a special study for estimation of Above Ground Biomass (AGB) at pan-India level, using L- band of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. The results for the States of Assam and Odisha (as well as AGB maps), were presented earlier in ISFR 2019.   The interim results for AGB estimates (and AGB maps) for the entire country are being presented as a new chapter in ISFR 2021. The detailed report will be published after completion of the study.

FSI in collaboration of with Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani, Goa Campus has performed a study based on ‘Mapping of Climate Change Hotspots in Indian Forests’. The collaborative study was carried out with the objective to map the climatic hotspots over the forest cover in India, using computer model-based projection of temperature and rainfall data, for the three future time periods i.e. year 2030, 2050 and 2085.

The report also contains information on various parameters State/UT wise. Special thematic information on forest cover such as hill, tribal districts, and north eastern region has also been given separately in the report.

It is expected that the information given in the report would provide valuable information for policy, planning and sustainable management of forest and tree resources in the country.

The full report is available at the following URL:

South Asian Consultation on Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework begins

South Asian Consultation on Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework begins

India calls for innovative financing methods from GEF and CBD

Biodiversity conservation is being mainstreamed in all sectors of economic development under the philosophy of “Development without Destruction” – Shri Bhupender Yadav.

A two-day meeting of the South Asian Consultation Meeting on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework was held in New Delhi today.  The meeting was attended by the representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan in addition to representatives from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal; the Global Environmental Facility, Washington; French Embassy in New Delhi; UNDP-India; IUCN Offices in Canada and Singapore; National Geographic, USA and Campaign for Nature; Montreal in this virtual cum real meeting.

In his address Hon’ble Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav said that South Asia with its over 1.97 billion human populations and high biological diversity face formidable developmental challenges and impediments, which are amplified by the weak socio-economic status and the presence of high natural resource dependent communities. It is also necessary that tribal and other local communities which are cultivating or doing other activities for their livelihood should be exempted from the Biological Diversity Act to find balance between development of the local community and conservation of biodiversity, he added.

He also said that Biological Diversity Act will be implemented to lay greater emphasis on the local community interest and to encourage research in the area of biodiversity to make necessary changes in policy to ensure more Access & Benefit Sharing (ABS). “We need to encourage investment for sustainable use with necessary regulation to increase ABS fund, which can be used for conservation of biodiversity and betterment of the local community”, the Minister added.

Shri Bhupender Yadav said that the country subscribe to the theory and practice of green infrastructure development and “Development with Design” particularly in the linear infrastructure sector that we build to promote economic development, conservation and connectivity.  He said conservation is mainstreamed in all sectors of economic development under the philosophy of “Development without Destruction”.

The Minister said that India has joined over 75 countries that are part of the 30 by 30 High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People. In South Asia, already Pakistan and Maldives have joined.  He urged other countries to join HAC and also requested GEF, Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and Campaign for Nature and others to ensure that timely and adequate resources for developing countries.  The Minister said that the two-day regional consultation will help in developing strategies that would feed into the global meetings of CBD planned in March, 2022 in Geneva and for the 15th Conference of Parties of the CBD in China in April-May, 2022.

In her speech, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Ms. Leena Nandan said that this Convention is a milestone towards developing South Asia perspective and calls for innovative financing methods from GEF.