Odisha flags off Banayana project for forest management

Bhubaneswar, April 27:

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday launched Banayana, an Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project (OFSDP), for sustainable management of forest and bio-diversity.

This new project would be implemented in 14 Forest and Wildlife Divisions of the state, covering 10 districts, with the active participation of 12,000 Vana Surakshya Samitis (VSSs) at an outlay of Rs 1,000 crore for a period of 10 years, said the Chief Minister.

“This JICA supported project is the first 3rd generation forestry sector project in India. It envisages sustainable management of forest and bio-diversity along with adoption of best available technology and practices,” said Patnaik.

He said the most important aspect of this project would be active community engagement to transform them from resource users to resource managers.

The Japan International Co-operation Agency-assisted OFSDP was first implemented in Odisha in 2006 with active community participation in 2,426 villages. The goal was restoration of degraded forest and improvement in livelihood of communities living in the forest fringe villages.

With the lessons learnt from the successful implementation of OFSDP, the Odisha government launched a flagship programme Ama Jungle Yojana to keep the momentum and Patnaik said this is being successfully implemented in 24 forest divisions with a target to cover 7,000 Vana Surakhya Samitis.

“Considering the unique biological diversity of Odisha, I am glad to know that ecosystem based management will be introduced in Bhitarkanika under this plan. Similarly, SATOYAMA initiative would be piloted in Badrama Wild Life Sanctuary of Bamra wildlife division,” he added.

He said that the project would bring in a paradigm shift in forest management by acknowledging crucial role of women in sustainable management of forest.

As many as 3,600 women Self Help Groups would be supported under this project to facilitate them to pursue viable income generation activities, he said. (IANS)

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