India’s large rural population is directly dependent on its forests, especially for fuel wood, fodder, and other non-timber forest products. To meet growing mineral and fuel needs, large tracts of forest are being diverted to other land uses. These uses continue to degrade and threaten the sustainability of India’s forests and the livelihoods of the communities that depend on them.

The U.S. Agency for international Development’s Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-PLUS) is tasked with identifying and adapting scientific, economic, and sustainable solutions to India’s community forestry movement—solutions that will reduce deforestation and degradation, increase forest cover, restore forest health and carbon stocks, and further the conservation of India’s rich biodiversity while improving rural livelihoods and gender equity.

The twofold purpose of Forest-PLUS is to improve forest sustainability to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through carbon sequestration, and to assist individuals and communities in adapting to climate change. Tetra Tech is supporting the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ (MOEF) REDD+ Cell initiative by developing an integrated and inclusive approach to forest ecosystem management. We are building on and improving traditional forest management structures while introducing best carbon monitoring and gender mainstreaming practices from around the world to achieve increased forest carbon stocks, more accurate monitoring thereof, and improved socioeconomic social equity.

Tetra Tech is working at all levels to support India’s effort to move toward a low-emission economy and the MOEF’s REDD+ Cell initiative:

  • At the community level, we are scaling up pilot projects
  • At the landscape level, we are building the capacity of local governance structures and officials and community-based organizations to implement REDD+-focused ecosystem management, incorporating the private sector through public-private partnerships
  • At the state level, we are strengthening the capacity of State Forest Departments in the project landscapes to promote and support community-level ecosystem management and conservation
  • At the national level, we are working closely with MOEF’s REDD+ Cell and Indian academic institutions in the country’s forest sector to develop and implement nationwide GHG and carbon measurement tools and methodologies

The India Forest-PLUS program has two primary technical components: sustainable landscape development with a focus on the exchange of scientific support and technical cooperation, and sustainable landscape deployment with a focus on piloting scientific and technical approaches and results at scale.