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India to have satellite to monitor green cover

New Delhi: India will launch a `forestry satellite` as part of its efforts to monitor the country`s green cover, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday.

"We have to monitor (the Green Cover) on realtime basis.

We will be launching our own forestry satellite sometime in the later part of 2012," he said here.

Addressing a brain storming session on Green India Mission (GIM), the Minister said ISRO has already taken a decision in this regard.

"We will be having a family of satellites that will be dedicated to monitor the green cover," he said.

GIM is one of the eight Missions under India`s National Action Plan on Climate Change, announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2008.

"Green India Mission will bring an opportunity for revolutionising our system for monitoring. We must monitor, what is happening to the green cover," Ramesh said.

Admitting that the country could not fulfill the dream of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who had launched this project in 1985 to cover 5 m ha of waste land to bring under green cover every year, Ramesh said "we should work on realistic and credible targets and achieve them."

"We are far behind from the original objective," the Minister said.

He said Under GIM, the Ministry`s target is to increase 5 million hectares of forest and non-forest land and improve quality of forest cover on another 5 million hectares of non-forest lands in 10 years.

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