April 15, 2015
Lucknow, April 15 2015: A national workshop on ‘sustainable forest management through community partnership,' under the aegis of the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) assisted Uttar Pradesh Participatory Forest Management and Poverty Alleviation Project, was inaugurated today. The workshop brought together the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India and Forest Departments of various states to share best practices in design, implementation and evaluation in JICA assisted forest resource management projects. Fareed Mahfooz Kidwai, Hon'ble Minister of State for Forest, Sports and Youth Welfare, Government of Uttar Pradesh delivered the inaugural address and Shiv Pratap Yadav, Hon'ble Minister of State for Zoological Gardens was the chief guest at the workshop.
Best practices related to ‘use of remote-sensing and Geographic Information System' by Forest Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh; ‘impact of soil and moisture conservation on forests and agriculture' by Forest Department, Government of Tamil Nadu; ‘skill development in sustainable livelihood improvement' by Forest Department, Government of Gujarat; and ‘women empowerment and sustainability of Self-Help-Groups' by Forest Department, Government of Tripura, among others were shared at the workshop. JICA is supporting 22 forestry sector projects across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and West Bengal, through loan assistance of JPY 211,000 million (approx. Rs 15,000 crore) cumulatively.
Speaking on the occasion Rajive Kumar, Chief Project Director, Uttar Pradesh Participatory Forest Management and Poverty Alleviation Project said, "This workshop has been essential in knowledge sharing among states that are executing forest management projects, and serves as a guideline for states which are looking to formulate such projects. JICA's assistance with management processes and introduction of latest technologies, that have facilitated community participation in income generation activities in addition to afforestation, has been integral to successful implementation of forest management project in Uttar Pradesh."
Added Shinya Ejima, Chief Representative, JICA India Office, "Japanese assistance facilitates development of self-reliance among local communities in pursuing their socio-economic development. The best practices in forest resource management and income enhancement to make the initiatives self-sustaining have evolved through the efforts of all stakeholders including the local communities, state Forest Departments and the central Ministry."
In Uttar Pradesh, the JICA has extended JPY 13,345 million (approx. Rs 468 crore) in loan assistance to augment forest resources and improve livelihood through sustainable forest management. The project commenced in 2008 and is scheduled for completion in 2016, by which time it is targeted to achieve afforestation of about 80,500 hectares and generation of non-timber forest produce and activities such as Aloe vera, bael, turmeric and eco-tourism of about Rs 3.37 crore per year. The project is being implemented across the districts of Lakhimpur Kheri, Bahraich, Pilibhit, Mirzapur, Chandauli, Sonabhadra, Allahabad, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jhansi, Balrampur, Shrawasti and Chitrakoot.
A unique feature of JICA's assistance for forest management in Uttar Pradesh is the ‘Children Forest Programme' to create awareness about environment and forests among school children. Among the initiatives under the programme, school children are encouraged to plant saplings on or near their school grounds which they may tend to until the saplings become trees. This programme is under implementation in the districts of Gautam Budh Nagar, Lucknow, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Agra, Bareilly, Etawah, Gorakhpur, Jhansi, Mainpuri, Meerut and Moradabad, at over 650 schools.
Two school children from Uttar Pradesh were invited to visit Japan as Ambassadors of ‘Children Forest Programme'; a ‘Children Forest Programme' participant shared the programme experience at the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil; and programme participants are allowed scholarship at OISCA (Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement) Academy in Japan to complete the final two years of schooling, the scholarship has so far been availed of by 4 students from Uttar Pradesh.
The workshop is in its 7th edition and entails interactive presentations on April 15 and 16, and a field visit on April 17. Manual on Children Forest Programme and Compendium of Success Stories were released by the Hon'ble Minister during the workshop. Besides this, prizes were also given away for the State-level Inter-School Poster Competition held on ‘Wetland Day' and ‘Forest Fire Protection Week' organized under the Project. Ms Firdaus Ali of Central School Jhansi, Ms Anjul Gautam of Shivalik Cambridge College Agra and Ms Yati Singh of Sant Vivekanand Senior Secondary School Etawah won the first, second and third prizes respectively.
Established as an independent administrative institution, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries and provides assistance in form of loan, grant and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
JICA India Office Web: http://www.jica.go.jp/india/english/
JICA India Brochure: http://www.jica.go.jp/india/english/office/others/brochures.html
For further information, please contact:
JICA India Office
Ai Tachikawa/ Vini Sharma
+91 11 47685500
Tachikawa.Ai@jica.go.jp / firstname.lastname@example.org