Funding for forest protection – peeping behind the Fourteenth Finance Commission Award.

  • strict warning: Non-static method flag_flag::factory_by_row() should not be called statically in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/flag/flag.module on line 1357.
  • strict warning: Non-static method flag_flag::factory_by_row() should not be called statically in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/flag/flag.module on line 1357.
  • strict warning: Non-static method flag_flag::factory_by_array() should not be called statically in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/flag/flag.module on line 1433.
  • strict warning: Non-static method flag_flag::factory_by_array() should not be called statically in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/flag/flag.module on line 1433.
  • strict warning: Non-static method flag_flag::factory_by_array() should not be called statically in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/flag/flag.module on line 1433.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_term_node_tid::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/views_handler_filter_term_node_tid.inc on line 302.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_page::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display_page::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_page.inc on line 297.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_page::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_page.inc on line 297.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_block::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_block.inc on line 78.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_attachment::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display_attachment::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_attachment.inc on line 242.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_attachment::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_attachment.inc on line 242.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_ical::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display_page::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/calendar/calendar_ical/calendar_plugin_display_ical.inc on line 217.
  • strict warning: Declaration of date_handler_field_multiple::pre_render() should be compatible with content_handler_field_multiple::pre_render($values) in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/date/date/date_handler_field_multiple.inc on line 185.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • warning: implode(): Invalid arguments passed in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views_customfield/includes/views_customfield_handler_field_phpcode.inc(118) : eval()'d code on line 18.
  • user warning: You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ') GROUP BY nr.nid ORDER BY nr.nid DESC LIMIT 5' at line 4 query: SELECT DISTINCT(n.title) ,tn.nid as tnid FROM term_node tn LEFT JOIN node_revisions nr ON tn.nid = nr.nid LEFT JOIN node n ON n.nid = nr.nid WHERE (n.type='blog' OR n.type='raghubytes') AND tn.nid != 2888 AND tn.tid IN() GROUP BY nr.nid ORDER BY nr.nid DESC LIMIT 5 in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views_customfield/includes/views_customfield_handler_field_phpcode.inc(118) : eval()'d code on line 24.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • warning: implode(): Invalid arguments passed in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views_customfield/includes/views_customfield_handler_field_phpcode.inc(118) : eval()'d code on line 18.
  • user warning: You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ') ) AND tn.nid IN (779,780,781,782,783,784,785,786,787,788,789,791,792,1450,1468' at line 3 query: SELECT n.nid AS nid, n.title FROM node n LEFT JOIN term_node tn ON n.vid = tn.vid WHERE (tn.tid IN() ) AND tn.nid IN (779,780,781,782,783,784,785,786,787,788,789,791,792,1450,1468,1855,1988,2261,2298,2299,2300,2302,2320,2378,2396,2399,2404,2516,2523,2524,2572,2663,2702,2734,2735,2738,2789,2790,2800,2832,2863,2865,2866,2884,2890) GROUP BY n.nid ORDER BY n.nid DESC in /home/accountindia/webapps/demo/modules/views_customfield/includes/views_customfield_handler_field_phpcode.inc(118) : eval()'d code on line 54.
Posted on:30-10-15

One good feature of the way India’s Finance Commissions go about their jobs is that once their reports are finalized, they make public the data on which they based their reports, as also the various studies that they commissioned for deeper study of the issues before them. In keeping with that approach, the Fourteenth Finance Commission has placed the report prepared by the Centre for Ecological Services Management at Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, in collaboration with the Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun and Iora Ecological Solutions (IES), New Delhi in the public domain. This report, titled, ‘High Conservation Value Forests: An Instrument for Effective Forest Fiscal Federalism in India’ opens a window into the mind of the Commission, to reveal the rationale that they might have adopted to recommend a special forest cover based component in the horizontal formula for the inter-se sharing of central revenues between States.

The opening paragraphs of the report once again illustrate how, when we consider finding solutions to ‘wicked’ problems, radical differences arise straightaway in the way different stakeholders look at the definition of fundamental terms. For instance, how do different people look at the term “Forests”? As the report points out, for those people who use forests for wood and other non-timber forest produce, it is just a common reservoir into which they can dip and obtain benefits for free. On the other hand, for those who (in the words of the report) understand the criticality of forests for sustaining life on this planet, it is something of unimaginably high importance (and inestimable value).

Ominously, States that have large forest areas and directed by increasingly strict legal regimes and watchful courts to maintain these, might see forests as a disability rather than as a resource; as something that they are prevented from using for something more ‘beneficial’, in their perception.

One of the key problems in assigning a value to forests and similar ‘ecosystem services’, is the tragic fact that no price tag is attached to them. As the report points out, the current National Accounting System of the country reflects only the marketed value of few visible services supplied by forests. Fresh air, clean water, the variety of plant and animal life, does not excite the accountant, the economist, the politician or the bureaucrat in the same way as cubic meters of wood does.

So how does one go beyond counting the marketed benefits of forest ecosystems and assign economic value to the priceless benefits of biodiversity, for instance? The very thought of that might be sacrilege for some, but is a necessary pursuit for more prosaic individuals concerned with how national financial resources are better applied.

 This is how the report detailed above goes about this task:

 First, the report has computed an index termed the ‘High Conservation Value Forests Index’. This comprises of several indicators that relate to (a) the diversity of the natural endowments of the forests in question (b) the value of actions undertaken to conserve this endowment and (c) other cross-cutting factors. The High Conservation Value Index finally adds up to an evaluation that measures the relative importance of the forests in each state.

 Second, the report computes a Conservation Cost Index which accounts for the costs incurred by states to keep their lands under forest cover. These comprise of two items, namely, the cost of maintaining existing forests and the cost of restoration of degraded forests

 Finally, the report attempts to calculate the Opportunity Cost, which is the revenue foregone by states by not diverting forests for what they consider an economically more remunerative land use.

 How these are in-turn calculated, and whether this leads us anywhere, will be explored in detail in next week’s blog.

 The full report referred to above is available at: http://fincomindia.nic.in/ShowContentOne.aspx?id=27&Section=1

 

 

 

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.