Japan-assisted project to conserve forests in Nagaland

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HT Correspondent
Dimapur, Sept 13: A Japanese government-assisted project to conserve forests and wean people away from the traditional practice of shifting cultivation in Nagaland will cover 33 villages in the first phase of its implementation.
Altogether, the project will cover 185 villages in 11 districts of the state spread over 22 forest ranges. It will also provide both direct and indirect employment for the local populace.
The project will be implemented by the Nagaland Forest Management Project (NFMP) in a span of 10 years till 2027.
As per a document provided by the NFMP, the project has three components – strengthening conservation regime through community participation, livelihood opportunities for enhanced household incomes through convergence and institutional strengthening.
A seminar on the work components of the project for the district management and field management personnel and the villages that are to be included in the first phase was held here on Wednesday.
JICA representative in India, Yuko Shinohara, attended the seminar where she gave a brief introduction of the agency and its works. She said JICA is a governmental agency which caters to the socio-economic development of Japan as well as societies around the globe.
She requested the project team and the stakeholders besides citizens who are involved in the project to work in coordination to achieve good results. She also urged the NFMP team to expedite the implementation of the project works.
The JICA had signed an agreement with the government of India on March 31 2017 to provide official development assistance to eight projects in the country, including the Nagaland segment of the project. The JICA has sanctioned over Rs 400 crore to the NFMP to implement the project.
“This project aims to restore forests on lands under shifting cultivation and provide other means of livelihood for local residents and also enable them to contribute towards conserving sustainable environment,” Nagaland minister for environment, forest and climate change said in the seminar.
Chang urged the project team and stakeholders to coordinate and attain the project’s objectives on time.
On the occasion, the minister launched the NFMP’s official website, designed and developed by Ramietech Solutions, an IT and software company based in Kohima in coordination with the NFMP-JICA team. He also released an operational manual of the NFMP for the project.
Nagaland principal chief conservator of forest I. Panger Jamir highlighted the challenges of the project. He said the project derailed as there was no financial assistance from the central government during the 14th Finance Commission. It was then the Japanese agency stepped in at the right time and breathed a new life into it, he added.
Consultant of the project A.K. Bansal, who is a retired Indian Forest Service official, said the works of the JICA are very unique in many ways as the agency focuses on results instead of achievement. He added that the agency focuses on the application of science and technology in the work, conservation through community participation and project management consultancy.

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