On the second day of the 12th Annual Workshop of JICA assisted Forestry and NRM Projects being held at Hotel Peterhoff, Shimla, delegates from different places of the country discussed the efforts being made on livelihoods improvement under JICA’s project.

Giving detailed information about the works being done under the Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystem Management and Livelihood Improvement Project, Nagesh Kumar Guleria, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Project Director said that the main objective of this project is to improve forest ecology and to restore the ecosystems through sustainable forest management in the project areas.

Apart from this, the project aims at conserving bio-diversity, improving rural people’s livelihoods and promoting institutional capacity, so that the environment can be protected and the socio-economic condition of the state can be improved. Under this project, 460 micro-plans will be implemented on the ground by the end of the financial year 2023-2024. Under the project, about 24 income generating activities are being run through self help groups to improve the economy of people and some of activities are being run through convergence with other departments.

He said that a sales outlet at Shoghi, Shimla was inaugurated by JICA’s Chief Representative in India, Saito Mitsunori, today for the sale of products being prepared by self-help groups. He also said that the outcomings of this workshop will be shared with the government of Himachal Pradesh through the workshop proceedings. During the discussion in the workshop, Prashad Rao, Director of Livelihood and Development Project, Tripura, told that through agro-forestry, ecotourism, forest product based activities livelihoods improvement of the people in  Tripura is being done.

Giving information on China’s livelihood reform model, Tej Pratap, former vice-chancellor of Agricultural University Palampur and livelihood expert, said that economic forest management is being done in China with the participation of people. He said that by adopting China’s livelihood improvement model in mountain areas where land holdings of people is low the modern forest management can be adopted to improve the economic condition of the people. Further improvement in the economy of the people can be made  by preparing global level products from bamboo and other non timber forest products .

Mr. Kokoroje Dy. Project Director, Uttarakhand Forest Resource Management Project, giving information about livelihood improvement under the JICA project, said that through panchayats in Uttarakhand, works are being done to improve people’s livelihood, due to which people’s dependence on forests is being reduced. Sustainable management of forests and improvement in the ecosystem are being carried out successfully by reducing the burden on the forests.

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