October 30, 2018
Tokyo, October 30, 2018: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of 12,287 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 750 Crore) for the Project for Sustainable Forest Management Project in Tripura.
The objective of the Project is to improve quality of forests in the targeted catchment area by imbibing sustainable forest management practices, soil and moisture, thereby contributing to development of forest ecosystem services and livelihood improvement of forest dependent communities in Tripura.
The ODA loan agreement was signed between Shohei Hara, Director General, South Asia Department, JICA and Mr. Sujan R. Chinoy, Ambassador of India to Japan on October 29, 2018 at Tokyo.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA India said, "Tripura has an abundance of forest resources, with a high proportion of people dependent on forest for their existence. The Project will work towards enhancing forest ecosystems through catchment protection approach, thereby improving quality of forest and lives of forest dependent communities in the state. Also, JICA expects to collaborate and enhance further cooperation by sharing the knowledge for the enhancement of bamboo industry through the Project under the idea of "Japan-India Act East Forum". This forum aims to expand the cooperation between Japan and India in the North Eastern Region (NER)".
The Tripura Forest Department (TFD) is the Executing Agency of the Project.
Though the dense forest in Tripura has increased but it still has the third largest decline rate in forest area in India with 166 km2 decrease between 2011 and 2015. This change has much influence on the natural environment and the living conditions of the local population. The forest cover loss and forest degradation have been mainly caused by shifting cultivation, which increase soil erosion risks on hill slopes especially in upper catchment areas.
In order to countermeasure such issues, the Project aims to improve quality of forest in the catchment area by sustainable forest management, soil and moisture conservation and livelihood development. The Project will be implemented mainly in upper catchments where forest degradation and soil erosion are severe and livelihood improvement needs are high. The activities will include promotion of bamboo plantation, agroforestry based livelihood, eco-tourism development, development of value addition for bamboo and other Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) in order to create alternate livelihood opportunities for local communities. As bamboo is a key resource, strong emphasis shall be laid on enhancing the production base and value addition of bamboo production.
JICA has been consistently working to help develop the forestry sector in Tripura. In 2007, JICA had extended an ODA loan of 7,725 million Japanese (approximately INR 495 crore) Yen for the Tripura Forest Environmental Improvement and Poverty Alleviation Project (TFIPAP) which had focused on more plantation and improvement of livelihood activities. Since 1991-92, JICA has committed 270 billion Japanese Yen (approximately INR 17,300 Crore) for 27 projects in 14 states of India in the forestry sector.
Agroforestry Plantation from TFIPAP
Check-Dams and Fishery from TFIPAP
Established by a specific law as an incorporated administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to promote international cooperation as the sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in the form of loans, grants and technical cooperation, so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
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