With an objective of afforestation of 10 million hectares of land over the next decade, the government has merged National Mission for a Green India with MGNREGA to increase and improve the country’s forest cover. 

Modern technology like remote sensing will be used to monitor the progress of this initiative regularly, sources said. Currently, green works such as water harvesting, afforestation and farm foresty are undertaken under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme implemented by Rural Development Ministry. 

The government also aims to increase 10 million hectares of forest cover under the ‘National Mission for a Green India’ being implemented by the Environment Ministry. 

“To further synergise these efforts and to collectively address the climate change concerns, the government has come out with convergence guidelines after consulting both Environment and Rural Development Ministries,” a senior government official said. 

According to the guidelines issued by the Environment Ministry, all lands including village common lands, community lands, revenue wastelands, shifting cultivation areas, wetlands and private agricultural lands will be eligible for afforestation under this convergence.