Forestry project launched in Sambalpur

Banayana, the second phase of Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project (OFSDP), was launched in Sambalpur Forest Division on Wednesday.

The objective of the project is to enhance the forest ecosystem along with supporting sustainable livelihood improvement of people residing in forest fringes with the help of Vana Surakshya Samitis (VSS).
The project will be implemented in about 100 revenue villages located on fringes of forests under Sadar, Padiabahal, Dhama and Rengali forest ranges under the division.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Sambalpur Sanjeet Kumar said a total of 100 VSS will be involved for implementation of the project. This apart, 300 women SHGs will also be engaged in enhancing their income through different activities.

He informed that experts of livelihood and Geographical Information System (GIS) have already been appointed at the forest division office for proper planning. Similarly, livelihood experts have also been posted at forest range offices under the division.

Besides, a partner NGO has been engaged for door-to-door socio-economic survey in the project area. After completion of the survey, micro plan for each VSS will be prepared to address forestry and livelihood issues at village level, Kumar said.

The duration of the project is 10 years with the current fiscal being the preparatory year. Banayana will be implemented in 12 forest divisions including Sambalpur. The project is being implemented in the State with loan assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Earlier, the phase 1 of OFSDP was implemented between 2006 and 2015 with the twin objectives of restoration of degraded forests and livelihood improvement of forest dependent community.
The project was launched here in presence of Regional Chief Conservator of Forests, Sambalpur Circle OP Singh, Chief Conservator of Forests, Sambalpur (Kendu Leaf) Circle Ramesh Sethy and Sambalpur Collector Samarth Verma.

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