Policy Briefs & Reports

Regulating Urban Trees in India: Issues and Challenges

Kanchi Kohli, Manju Menon

Heinrich Böll Stiftung

July 11, 2022

This report highlights the scope and functions of a dozen tree laws implemented in different states in India. The implementation of these laws has come to public focus in recent years due to the growing number of cases of large-scale tree felling in Indian cities.

The government use of mechanisms like compensatory afforestation and tree transplantation adopted to make up for large scale tree losses and the lack of information, transparency and public participation in tree regulation procedures have also been criticized by public campaigns on tree protection.

The content and outcomes of these laws also indicate that they are not equipped to deal with rapidly changing urban realities and the intense pressure on ecologies from real estate and urban infrastructure growth. They also do not speak to the biggest environmental issues of our times such climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity and air pollution.

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