Forest Minister Awangbow launches COSFOM website

Imphal: Forest, environment and climate change minister Awangbow Newmai on Friday launched website for the Community-based Sustainable Forest Management for Water Resource Conservation in Manipur (COSFOM) at the main conference hall, forest headquarters, here.

COSFOM is a component under the Indo-German Programme ‘Climate Change Adaption in the Himalaya’ with a focus on sustainable community forestry, soil and water conservation. A project of the Government of India supported by the Federal Government of Germany through KfW, a German development bank in Frankfurt with Manipur Forest Department as the executing agency and managed by the Community Forestry and Water Conservation Society-Manipur (CF & WCS).

The project combines a community-based and watershed approach to improve and conserve water resources. It aims at improving or restoring climate resilience of upper watershed ecosystems and the adaptive capacity of forest dependent communities through sustainable forest management, close-to-nature stream management, spring shed development and biodiversity conservation. At the same time, it seeks to strengthen sustainable livelihood strategies, income generation opportunities and peace & conflict assessment. Every transaction and activities have to be done with the approval/consent of the community.

Awangbow congratulated the entire team and hoped that the website will facilitate the project. He requested the officers concerned with the project to work tirelessly as it will provide help to many people. Although the project is in the initial stage covering the two districts (Ukhrul and Kangpokpi divisions), he expressed his hope that the project will cover all the districts in the near future.

Kereilhouvi Angami, principal chief conservator of forest and head of forest force (PCCF and HoFF), also the vice-chairman of the COSFOM said for the first time in the Government of Manipur under the forest department that the department is implementing a forestry based project which is funded from the external sources.

Stating that the implementation process of the project took almost 4 years, he said the department was persistent and consistent in pursuance of the project trying to fulfil all the needs and conditions put in by funding agency.

Hopeful that the working system in the forest department particularly in the field level will improve, he said it is a new system where monetary and inspection/supervision of the work will be much more strict and innovative. Informing that the work has started in the areas covering two divisions, he said the response from the villagers, supervision and participation of the staffs led by two district forest officers have encouraged the department as the work is on the right track.

He said the department is working on to identify the strengths in order to work upon it more and at the same time identify the challenges, weakness, constrains to address it in a better way.

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