Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. 15-July, 2009 18:5 IST
Campa Chronology


1.     On November 21st 2001, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that large sums had been received as compensatory afforestation for diversion of forest land and were lying with the states and no appropriate scheme for the disbursement of the same has been created.


2.     In October 2002, the Supreme Court in the case of TN Godhavarman v. Union of India [WP 202 of 1995] directed that a Compensatory Afforestation Fund be created in which all monies received from user agencies towards compensatory afforestation, penal compensatory afforestation, net present value of forest land, etc. shall be deposited. 


3.     On April 24th, 2004, vide Notification of the same date MoE&F issued a Notification constituting a Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) with the concurrence of the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court.


4.     On May 5th 2006, following the recommendations of the CEC, the Supreme Court constituted the Ad-Hoc CAMPA authority to collect funds (accumulated with the States post 30th October 2002).[i] This body was intended to function till the creation of a statutory body to perform the said functions. Additionally, the Chief Secretaries of the various State Governments/ Administrators of UTs were directed to cooperate with this body as well as with the Comptroller and Auditor General in the performance and discharge of their duties.



5.     In March 2008, the Union Cabinet decided to constitute a CAMPA and a Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF). A Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in May 2008.


6.     In October 2008, the Standing Committee of Parliament on E&F rejected the Bill saying that CAMPA should be at the state-level. The Bill was passed by the LS in December 2008. However the same could not be passed in the RS.


7.     On February 25th 2009, the Supreme Court observed vide its order of the same date that a large amount of funds had been collected under CAMPA. It was further observed that 23 proposals had come before the Ad-Hoc CAMPA and were currently pending before the body for consideration.  The Court directed the Ad-Hoc authority to scrutinize the feasibility of these proposals and file a report with regard to the same.  The Court further directed that the funds be used for the implementation of these schemes and invited States/UTs which had not submitted schemes to come forward and submit their proposals within four weeks (i.e. end of March 2009).


8.     In March 2009, Principal Secretary to PM held a meeting and it was decided to constitute state-level CAMPAs along the lines suggested by the Standing Committee. Guidelines were prepared by MoE&F and circulated to states. It was also agreed that the MoE&F would approach the Supreme Court for seeking concurrence to this arrangement.


9.     On May 29th 2009, MOS(I/C) E&F took over and immediately began a review of the long—pending CAMPA issue. He was concerned that the new guidelines drawn up after 7. above had no role whatsoever for the Central government, something that he believed was both undesirable and that would be unacceptable to the Supreme Court. He also felt that the draft guidelines did not accord the requisite priority to protection/regeneration of natural forests and the rejuvenation of degraded forests. He suggested the inclusion of a section that addressed these concerns by according a greater role to the Central Government and reflected the prioritization of regeneration and rejuvenation of existing natural forests. A revised draft of these guidelines, incorporating these changes, was prepared accordingly by the MoEF.


10.  On June 17th 2009, MOS met with the Attorney-General and with the Chairman, Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court and Member-Secretary CEC on June 27th, 2009. Chairman, CEC and Member-Secretary, CEC pointed out that April 24th Notification should be activated and that this has been upheld by the Supreme Court. MOS( I/C) told them that he wants a system which gives a meaningful role to both the Centre and states and said that while the April 24th notification was too centralized, the PMO/MoE&F guidelines went to the opposite extreme. 


11.  On July 2nd 2009, MOS(I/C) E&F met with Secretary, Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law along with Chairman CEC and Member-Secretary CEC.  After a detailed discussion it was agreed that (i) the ad hoc CAMPA Authority constituted by the Supreme Court by its order of 5th May 2006 would be activated and this Authority would consider and clear/reject the 23 proposals already submitted by the state governments; (ii) submission would be made by the MoE&F to the Supreme Court on the basis of the first meeting of the ad hoc CAMPA Authority and get Supreme Court approval for the decisions taken at that meeting.


12.  On July 3rd 2009, the first meeting of the Ad Hoc CAMPA Authority set up by the Supreme Court by its Order of 5th May 2006 took place. The meeting considered the set of revised guidelines (as approved by the Minister of Environment and Forests in 8. above) for funding under CAMPA which envisaged a more meaningful role for the Centre in planning and monitoring while leaving operational details to the states and also accorded over-riding priority to protection and regeneration of natural forests. The meeting also considered the 23 proposals already submitted by the states in terms of the Order of February 2009 (6. above). The meeting decided to submit both documents to the Supreme Court for further orders. It was further decided to recommend the release of Rs. 5000 Crore at the rate of Rs. 1000 crores per annum for the next five years to the State CAMPAs.


13.  On July 7th 2009, Mr. Harris Beeran filed an Affidavit [in I.A. No. 2143] on behalf of the Ministry of Environment and Forests praying for the disbursement of funds through the mechanism of an Ad Hoc CAMPA. Simultaneously, and in furtherance of the meeting of 3rd July 2009 above and also in keeping with the directions contained in the order of the Supreme Court dated February 2009, Mr. Ansar Ahmed (IG, Forests and member Ad Hoc CAMPA Committee) filed a report of the Ad Hoc CAMPA committee on the feasibility of the 23 proposals submitted and the implementation of the same.


14.  On July 10th 2009 the abovementioned Affidavit was listed before the forest bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court [consisting of Hon’ble Chief Justice KG Balkrishnan, Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Kapadia]. Mr. Ghoolam Vahanvati, Attorney General for India appearing on behalf of the Ministry along with Mr. Harish Salve as Amicus Curiae urged the Court to accept the Affidavit and the suggestions made by the Ad Hoc CAMPA (also endorsed by the CEC as per its report). The learned Bench allowed the prayer subject to an annual audit and the submission of a compliance report every six months by the CEC. The Court also observed that the states should attempt to follow NREGA guidelines while implementing the programme, by involving the local people in afforestation projects as far as feasible

[i] Currently about Rs.9932.12 crores has been received by the AD Hoc CAMPA. Rs.1328.24 crore has additionally been received as income by way of interest. Also, it is estimated that about Rs.600 crore will be receivable as accrued interest, as and when the fixed deposits mature.



(Release ID :50441)