Poor implementation highlighted the lack of political will to address issues related to the rights of forest dwellers, the research stated.

Study finds India’s implementation of Forest Rights Act to be poor

Almost two decades after it was first introduced, researchers found the implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2000, also known as FRA, to be poor. Poor implementation highlighted the lack of political will to address issues related to the rights of forest dwellers, the research stated. Increasing policy favourable to forest commercialisation is undermining the constitutional rights provided by the FRA, the study noted. 

India’s 2024-25 interim budget a green signal for climate investments

India’s interim budget for 2024-25 has some hits and a few misses as far as the country’s green future is concerned. While it keeps India largely aligned with its goal to become a $5 trillion economy in the next three years, the plan may have missed a chance to streamline measures needed to promote clean energy technologies such as solar PVs and electric vehicles, experts said. 

The government announced plans to provide rooftop solarisation to one crore households. This will give each household access to obtain up to 300 units free electricity every month, and an opportunity to sell the surplus to DISCOMs. The government also announced plans to provide viability gap funding for offshore wind energy potential for an initial capacity of 1GW. The budget also has provisions to set up a coal gasification and liquefaction capacity of 100 MT by 2030.

India launches framework to promote voluntary carbon market

India launched the framework to promote a voluntary carbon market in the agricultural sector. The government said it introduced the framework, titled ‘Framework for Voluntary Carbon Market in Agriculture Sector and Accreditation Protocol of Agroforestry Nurseries’,  for small and medium farmers to benefit from carbon credits and encourage environment-friendly practices. Details, however, of how the market will be introduced are yet to be revealed. 

John Podesta to replace Kerry as Biden’s top climate adviser

John Podesta, White House senior advisor, will replace John Kerry as US President Joe Biden’s top climate advisor in spring. While he will add international climate policy to his list of responsibilities, he will not get the title special climate envoy, which Kerry held. Kerry announced in January that he will now focus on Biden’s re-election campaign. Podesta has worked on climate policy in past Democratic administrations. He joined the White House last year to work on an ambitious climate programme. 

Since Jan 2023, at least 65 countries witnessed farmer protests demanding better prices and policies

Since 2023 at least 65 countries have reported farmer protests demanding better prices for their produce. DTE reported that around 21 per cent of countries in the Asian region saw protests by farmers. In India at least nine states/Union territories reported farmer protests in 2023. Farmers gathered in Delhi on February 13, 2024 demanding guaranteed crop prices, doubling of farmers’ income and the loan waivers.  Farmers in Nepal demanded fair prices for vegetables that were being imported from India. Protests in Malaysia and Nepal were driven by low prices for rice and sugarcane, respectively. In New Zealand protests took place over farm regulations. Farmers in Australia protested against the proposed high-voltage overhead power lines that would pass through their land. 

Farmers protested in 67% of countries in South America demanding better export exchange rates and reduced taxes. Argentina’s devastating drought severely damaged agricultural output. Brazilian farmers demonstrated against genetically modified maize-induced unfair competition in the agricultural markets. Farmers in Venezuela requested access to diesel that was subsidised. Colombian rice growers sought higher pricing.

Around 47% of countries in Europe saw protests over low crop prices, rising costs, low-cost imports and environmental rules imposed by the European Union. French farmers protested low-cost imports, a lack of subsidies and higher production costs. Farmers protested in 35 per cent of North and Central American countries. Farmers in Mexico want better prices for their corn and wheat production, while those in Costa Rica called for further government help. Around 22 per cent countries across Africa witnessed protests by the farmers. The key reasons behind these protests included — poor pricing of the crops amid high costs of production.