JICA organizes 8th Annual Workshop on Forestry and Natural Resource Management

by Shrutee K/DNS

New Delhi/Gangtok, 2nd March, 2016: The 8th Annual Workshop on Forestry and Natural Resource Management Projects was inaugurated at Gangtok, under the JICA assisted Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project (SBFMP) which is being executed by the Sikkim Forest Department.

Esteemed Chief Guests including Mr. T.W. Lepcha, Hon’ble Minister of Forest, Environment & Wildlife Management; Mr. Thomas Chandy, Principal Secretary cum PCCF & Chief Project Director, SBFMP and Mr. C. Zangpo, Secretary, Tourism & Civil Aviation attended the annual workshop. Other participants at the workshop included State Forest Departments from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Tripura, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, which are the executing agencies of JICA assisted forestry projects.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Sachiko Imoto, Senior Representative, JICA India Office said, "Year 2016 marks the Silver Jubilee of JICA's cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, for assisting forestry and natural resource management projects in the country. In the 1990s JICA assisted forestry projects emphasized on afforestation, regeneration, soil and water conservation and other allied activities. Going forward, JICA assisted forestry projects would lay emphasis on Carbon Financing through REDD+ mechanisms, among other components." She also spoke of ensuring sustainability of project impacts and laid emphasis on requirement of an effective “continuity policy” for the projects.

JICA's commitment to forestry projects in India started in 1991 with ‘Afforestation and Pasture Development along Indira Gandhi Canal Area’ in Bikaner and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan. JICA's assistance strategy has been evolving over these years which has resulted in creation of first generation projects during 1990's, second generation projects during 2000's and now third generation projects. In the third generation projects, in addition to what JICA has been supporting in first and second generation projects, following components would receive more emphasis: 
 Enhanced focus on sustainable community development activities. 
   Institutionalization of inter-sectoral convergences.
   Greater emphasis on biodiversity conservation.
   GIS Technology based planning, monitoring and evaluation.
 Exploring possibilities of introduction of REDD Plus  mechanism. 
   Disaster mitigation, especially in hilly states.
Seven annual workshops for knowledge sharing among executing agencies have been organized in the past at Bhubaneshwar, Udaipur, Delhi, Bangalore, Gandhinagar, Chennai and Lucknow.

JICA has committed JPY 225.8 billion Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 12,000 crore at the current exchange rate) for 23 projects, across 13 states of India. JICA has supported 22 forestry projects which are state specific and one national Human Resource Development project for the frontline staff in 13 states where a JICA assisted project is not present, this national project has been awarded for ‘Excellence in Training’ at the inaugural National Symposium on Excellence in Training organized by the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.

About JICA
Established, by a specific law, as an independent administrative institution under the Government of Japan, 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 forms 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/


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