MUSSOORIE, April 12, 2018
The 10th Annual three days’ Workshop on Forestry and Natural Resource Management Projects, was organised by the Forest Department, Government of Uttarakhand with support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was inaugurated in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand on Wednesday. The workshop provided a platform for the exchange of experiences and knowledge among the forest departments of various states which have been implementing JICA-assisted forestry and natural resource management projects.
Speaking on the occasion, Takema Sakamoto, said, “JICA has been the largest donor in the forest sector in India. We aim to enhance ecosystems through technology-based processes that lead to increased forest cover, effective soil and moisture conservation, and livelihood development of communities on forest fringes. “Knowledge exchanged at the seminar would help enhance sustainability in ecosystems and improve the environment of India.” he added.
The workshop also entailed deliberations on issues, challenges and opportunities pertaining to sustainable forest management through new approaches on enhancement of forest productivity and innovative approaches on afforestation/reforestation. The participants also presented and demonstrated the use of new technologies and user-friendly applications for Management Information System (MIS) and Geographic Information System(GIS). In line with its commitment to support environmental conservation, JICA has helped organise nine annual workshops on Forestry and Natural Resource Management, facilitating knowledge sharing among executing agencies across the country during the last decade.
Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister (CM), Government of Uttarakhand (GoUK) inaugurated the workshop on Wednesday, Harak Singh Rawat, Hon’ble Minister Forests, GoUK, Siddhanta Das, Director General (DG), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Ranbeer Singh, Addl. Chief Secretary (ACS), GoUK, Jai Raj, Head of Forest Force (HoFF), Uttarakhand Forestry Department (UKFD) and Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office were amongst the guest of honor.
During the course of the workshop, various participants including Vineet Sarin, Additional Chief Development Specialist, JICA India Office and senior forest department officials from several states made technical presentations on various themes related to forest resource management. Som Pal, Founder Chairman, International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) shed light upon the potential of organic products in livelihood development. Officials of State Forest Departments from Odisha, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal, Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh also participated in the workshop.
JICA’s commitment to forestry projects in India started in 1991 with the project on ‘Afforestation and Pasture Development along Indira Gandhi Canal Area’ in Bikaner and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan. JICA’s assistance strategy has evolved over these years, leading to the creation of first generation projects during the 1990’s whose focus was mainly on afforestation and soil and moisture conservation, second generation projects during the 2000’s, which included component for promoting Joint Forest Management(JFM) approach, and now third generation projects. In third generation projects, in addition to what JICA has been supporting in the first and second-generation projects, the following components would be emphasised: enhanced sustainable community development activities, institutionalization of inter-sectoral convergences, greater emphasis on biodiversity conservation, GIS technology-based planning, monitoring and evaluation, and disaster mitigation, especially in hilly states. Since 1991-92, JICA has committed 257 billion Japanese yen (approximately INR 15,500 crore) for 26 projects in 14 states of India in the forestry and natural resource management sector.