Dharamsala, May 24
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu today said that the state government had kept a target of increasing the green cover in the state from 28 per cent to 30 per cent.
Seven forest committees honoured
- The Chief Minister gave away awards to seven village forest development committees working under the JICA project for their excellent work
- Sunder Singh Thakur, Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Forest), said, “Plantation is being done on around 45,000 hectares. The state also has immense potential for eco-tourism.”
- Saito Mitsunori, JICA's chief representative in India, said, "The JICA is providing financial aid to a number of projects in developing countries, including India."
He said this while virtually addressing from here the 12th annual workshop on Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-assisted forestry and natural resource management (NRM) projects held in Shimla.
He said the JICA-funded projects had been instrumental in increasing the green cover. “Plantation has been done on over 4,600 hectares using advanced techniques and technological interventions over the past two years,” he added.
Sukhu said that the projects also focused on developing nurseries and improving planting stock with an aim to produce over 60 lakh quality seedlings of various useful species for community and forestry purposes. The modernisation of 72 nurseries across the state was also underway, he added.
The Chief Minister acknowledged the role of forests in an agrarian state like Himachal Pradesh, where the population heavily relies on forest resources for their livelihoods and ecosystem services. He emphasised the need to preserve and enhance forest wealth, especially in the context of global concerns over climate change and the search for environment-friendly solutions.
Sukhu commended the efforts made under the project to strengthen joint forest management activities through the formation of 460 village forest development societies (VFDS) and over 900 self-help groups (SHGs) in seven districts.
“The project has also prioritised skill upgrading and capacity-building for forest-dependent communities and forest field staff. More than 15,000 individuals have been trained in livelihood activities and forest regeneration with the aim of minimising the risks posed by climate change and related disasters,” he said. He said making Himachal Pradesh a green state was one of the key pillars of his government’s agenda. “The state government has launched several initiatives in this regard and expects them to yield positive results in future. The JICA-funded project aligns well with the state’s vision for a green state,” he said.
Agriculture Minister Chander Kumar, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Kishori Lal, MLAs Sanjay Rattan (Jwalamukhi), Bhawani Singh Pathania (Fatehpur), Kewal Singh Pathania (Shahpur) and Malender Rajan (Indora) accompanied the CM.
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