Thursday, June 20, 2024

Nagaland Govt., World Bank working to implement Rs 657 cr project

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, AUGUST 29: The Nagaland Government and World Bank is working to implement an Externally Aided Project (EAP) named Enhancing Landscape and Ecosystem Management Project (ELEMENT) in agriculture & allied sectors of the State amounting to Rs 647 crore.

The project will be implemented on 80:20 funding between World Bank (Rs 517 crore) and Nagaland Government (Rs 130 crore).

It aims in restoring and strengthening landscapes in Nagaland to empower communities to take scientific and informed decisions in addressing climate change, ownership, local economy, biodiversity and improve ecosystem services.

The project pillars are adopting climate smart models that protect and conserve community forests, support green growth and sustainable livelihood enhancement and provision ecosystem services

Proposed project activities include:

Community livelihood: Agri and allied activities based on the Integrated Settled Farming System; Forest-based livelihoods. irrigation, mechanization and marketing infrastructure such as pack-houses forestation & natural resource regeneration.

Spring rejuvenation and catchment protection and water resource development for irrigation.

Communities Capacity building:Village landscape management committees, para-professionals, promoting traditional knowledge, nature-based solutions. Preparing landscape management plans.

Proposed project outputs are:

Sustainable livelihoods based on integrated settled farming system model, Non-Timber Forest Produce, High Value Forest Produce, Agro-forestry.

Infrastructure development for market linkage for livelihood activities and increased water availability in springs; value chains, market linkages developed for NTFP/HVFP/ agri and allied, agro and wood-based cottage industries; increase in tree/green cover of community owned forests and restoration of ecosystem;d database/MIS/GIS development for landscapes and capacity building of local communities and enhanced role in planning and management.

Speaking during the introductory programme of the visiting World Bank officials in Kohima tonight, Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) Y Kikheto Sema said that in the past Nagaland has not been having investors due to the political situation. But, he said the State has been witnessing a peaceful atmosphere for the last 15 years and now is the right time for investors to come to the State.

He expressed happiness that besides the other World Bank funded projects in the State, this is the first time in 59 years of statehood that it is engaging in the agri & allied sector.

“We want to make the project a different one, as different Departments will be involved in the project”, he said.

Good news for the State, special farming community and all agri & allied sectors that ELEMENT projects to benefit the State ecologically and economically sustainable while also creating opportunity, he said.

Senior Environmental Specialist, World Bank, Delhi office, Piyush Dogra asserted that their team is in the State capital to discuss the different projects to be implemented by the World Bank.

Nonetheless, he said there are no fixed targets but discussion will be held over the next two days in the State capital going to the fields as per the State’s requiremen.

He said that the World Bank has agreed to the State Government’s project ELEMENT as it has perspective from the landscape approach.

Dogra said that the World Bank is interested in taking up the project as it is slightly under 8% of India’s total geographical area, but 25% of the country’s forest cover is in the North East.

NE States account for 30% of the value of carbon stock for the entire country, while the region holds 66% of India’s opportunity for sequestration through protection (avoided deforestation), he said.

“It is home to 51 forest types, and 6 of India’s 9 major vegetation with over 80,000 flowering plant species”, he said.

Watersheds of the region are critical catchments that regulate hydrological flows to some of the world’s most densely populated agricultural lands and cities, including nearly 250 million people in Bangladesh and eastern India, he said.

Some of the challenges, he said are the region is characterised by the highest rate of deforestation in the country where nearly 50% of forest is “open forest”.

The region has lost nearly 3,200 of forests in the last decade, mainly due to shifting cultivation and has also recorded the highest incidence of forest fires per sq. km ~ partially due to customary practice of slash and burn agriculture.

Forest clearing, soil erosion and perishing water sources are the key ecosystem challenges while natural streams and springs need to be given more importance, he said.

Dogra along with five others officials of the World Bank is in Kohima and they will having series of meeting from tomorrow including Core and Technical Support meeting, visit to various ongoing projects of the State Government Boke-Botsa Project (Naga Integrated Settled Farming (NISF), Jhum field in Tseminyu, Khonoma (agro-forestry), Springshed and coffee plantation near Kohima.

They would also meet Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on the last day of their stay.

World Bank Engagement can lead to multiple benefits such as:

Green Employment: 5 million jobs in restoration/plantation works (including nurseries) and 5 million Tribal households livelihood improvement through NTFP value chains.

Climate Resilience: Focus on Green Infrastructure and Nature Based Solutions for improved hydrology, agriculture, pollination, soil productivity etc.; Sector preparedness to leverage green bonds and carbon markets.

Forest Transition: Focus on Ecosystem Services, increased contribution of forest to GDP and forest seen as drivers of economic growth and pillars of ecological security.

(Page News Service)