Himachal CM launches forest management project

Shimla, Jan 31 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Sunday launched a Rs.310 crore project for managing forests in two districts in a way so as to minimise the effects of climate change.

The Himachal Pradesh Forest Eco-system Climate Proofing Project for Chamba and Kangra districts envisions enhancing bio-diversity and making forests resilient to the risks of climate change, an official statement here said.

Started with funding from KfW bank of Germany, the project also aims to enhance the adaptive capacities of local communities to cope with the negative effects of climate change.

The project would be implemented for six years in eight forest divisions of both districts based on climate vulnerability assessment, the statement said.

It would provide direct and indirect employment to about 1.5 lakh people of 600 cluster villages.

Speaking on the occasion near Dharamsala town, Virbhadra Singh said the project would be implemented through local registered societies.

He said Rs.3.33 lakh would be deposited in the bank account of each registered society on the condition that the societies so formed would work with commitment for preservation of forest and cattle wealth, food and fodder.

The project would go a long way in improving and enhancing fodder production capacity of forests and pastures by rehabilitation of areas infested with weed lantana in about 15,000 hectares, the chief minister said.

He said efforts would be made to plant more broad leaved trees which would cater to the fuel and fodder demands of rural population.

Under the project bamboo forests would be improved in 1000 hectares, besides reviving the traditional water springs and catchment areas of around 150 season rivulets.

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