Haryana State Government’s Forest Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the launch of the “Trees Outside Forests in India (TOFI)” program in the state. The new program will enhance carbon sequestration, support local communities and strengthen the climate resilience of agriculture.
Supporting global climate change mitigation and adaptation goals, this initiative will bring together farmers, companies and other private institutions to rapidly expand tree coverage outside of traditional forests in the state.
The Trees Outside Forests in India (TOFI) program will take foward Haryana’s State Action Plan on Climate Change and will build on the state’s progress and harness agroforestry to bolster the resilience of farming systems, while also increasing the income of farmers in the state.
Importantly, it will leverage India’s private sector to promote and scale tree-based enterprises and the sale of carbon credits, helping to create jobs and boost incomes.
Announcing the launch, Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, said, “The TOFI program will further spur agroforestry and plantation campaigns outside of forests and help raise the income of the farmers while enhancing the green cover in the state. It will also support India’s Roadmap towards Carbon Neutral Economy by 2070.”
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USAID’s Acting Mission Director in India, Karen Klimowski added, “The United States is proud to support the Trees Outside Forests in India program in Haryana, which builds upon decades of U.S.-India cooperation on forestry and climate-smart agriculture. India’s progress on these issues can provide models for the world.”
In his shared message, Kanwar Pal, Minister, Forests, Wildlife, Tourism, Culture and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Haryana said, “The TOFI Program will contribute towards strengthening the policy environment, supporting TOF (Trees Outside Forests)- based enterprises and providing technical support for the expansion of area under trees outside forests”
The Trees Outside Forests in India program was launched in September by Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Secretary Leena Nandan and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Patricia Lacina. The program will allocate up to $25 million over five years in seven states including Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh. There will be implementation support from the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (ICRAF).