Dimapur, September 12: Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, C M Chang today disclosed that Nagaland’s forest area is reducing at an alarming rate of almost 200 square kilometers per year.
Chang inaugurated a sensitization programme on “District Management Unit, Field Management Unit and Batch one Villages” at Forest Office Complex here which also coincided with the inauguration of Nagaland Forest Management Project, assisted by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA).
He said the main objective of the project is to promote forest and biodiversity conservation through community participation, improve livelihood and community development and to strengthen institutions, thereby contributing to environmental conservation and stable income generated in the targeted project villages.
He also said this project aims to restore forests in the lands under shifting cultivation which is the primary form of agriculture providing more than 60% of food for the state.
He requested the Joint Forest Management Committee, village councils, farmer groups, women self-help groups, youth groups and NGOs to work in coordination with each other to help achieve the objectives of the project.
He also assured JICA of all the necessary support from the side of the government saying that the Forest Dept. in particular is fully committed towards success of this project.
Previously, representing JICA, Yuko Shinohara in her brief remark had said that Japan and India share a long friendship and JICA has already been involved in 28 projects in India alone.
Commenting on her first ever visit in Dimapur, she said that she finds much similarities between Japan and Nagaland besides the comparable physical traits and expressed her admiration towards the Naga culture.
In the keynote address delivered by I Panger Jamir, PCCF & HOFF and chairman, GB, NFMPs, he said that the Forest Dept. is underworked and there is very less fund inflow from the centre too under the present NDA government due to changes in policies and said that the project would rejuvenate the ecosystem and improve the economy of the state impacting more than 7,000 households.
SP Tripathi, PCCS & chief wildlife warden and AK Bansal (IFS rtd), consultant were the other who spoke on the occasion.
The project is the result of a loan agreement signed between JICA and GoI on March 312, 2017, according to which Japan would prove loans for eight projects within India and NFMP is one of the eight projects sanctioned at Rs. 533 crores at a 90:10 formula. The whole project will cover 185 villages in 11 districts of Nagaland, spreading over 22 forest ranges. The villages will be selected in four batches and the project will be implemented within a span of 10 years i.e., from 2017 to 2027, creating both direct and indirect employment.
Representatives from 33 villages of the 185 total villages selected for the first phase of the project was present besides other dignitaries.
On the occasion, the Nagaland Forest Management Project (NFMP)-JICA website was also launched by Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, C M Chang.
The website was designed and developed by Ramietech Solutions, an IT and Software Company based in Kohima through active consultation and coordination with the NFMP-JICA team. Representing Ramietech Solutions, Richard Asoso, Business Development Manager, gave a brief introduction about the firm and the team.
Technical Operations Manager Debashis Sen gave a brief presentation about the website. Features of the website include an attractive layout and design, advanced functionalities, project information, project activity updates, meeting accessibility parameters, social media integration, google maps integration, google translation integration, SEO, downloads and many more. The website can be accessed at www.nfmpjica.org. The firm reposed its strong belief that the website will serve as an important resource for the NFMP-JICA in the days to come. (Page News Service)