Shimla: With a program to for earning carbon credits from a reforestation project having firmed up the state is to sign an Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement (ERPA) with World Bank executives in May.
â€œNormally such agreements are signed in Washington, USA, but on the request of chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, the agreement with World Bank officials would be signed in Shimla on 23rd May,â€ Sudipto Roy, secretary forests disclosed.
The agreement would be signed with International Bank for Reconstruction & Development, for which the country head of World Bank would be present, he added,
The project tiled â€˜India: Himachal Pradesh Reforestation Project â€“ Improving Livelihoods and Watershedsâ€™ under clean development mechanism (CDM) is to be implemented in 11 watershed divisions of Mid-Himalayan Watershed Development Project (MHWDP).
This project shall would 177 panchayats and aims at reforestation to protect watersheds, improve livelihoods and generate carbon revenue for the communities.
The broad objective of the bio-carbon, CDM project is to sequester green house gases (GHG) by expanding forestry plantations on mostly degraded lands apart from creating a carbon sink, said Roy.
Validation process under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) procedure has been completed and the project would become a registered one.
World Bankâ€™s Bio Carbon Board is committed to purchase the Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from the project.
The state cabinet has already approved signing of Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement till the year December, 2018.
The benefit accruing to the community and private land holder, who will be covered under this agreement would be approximately Rs. 2000 per hectare per year, depending upon various factors such as growth of trees and administrative costs, said the forest secretary.