Tree plantation drive launched across Manipur

Imphal: Celebrating the achievements of state forest department in the last four years of the BJP led Manipur government forest, environment and climate change minister Awangbow Newmai launched a mass tree plantation drive was launched at Cheiraoching in Imphal West district on Thursday.

The tree plantation drive was observed across the state at the district headquarters, subdivision headquarters and towns, an official release said.
The objective of the programme was to relook at the achievements of the forest department in the last four years and to continue various developmental programmes, Awangbow said.

“The forest department had undertaken plantation drive in a total area of 22,730 hectares in the last four years,” the minister said.

For the first time starting this year under the Agro Forestry, plantation programmes have been carried out in 10 villages each in the districts of Tamenglong and Churachandpur, he added.

Jhum Regulation Policy draft is completed and will be implemented in the state with forest department as the nodal department. The state is pursuing a project proposal at the Centre which will be an alternative for the jhum cultivators. It fully understands that it is impractical to stop people from practicing jhum cultivation without providing an alternative means, Awangbow said.

The department distributed 48 tablets to forest beat officers which easily enabled the concerned officials who are on field duty to issue online Transit Pass, which is a first of its kind in India. For the first time in India the state forest department also launched a portal to ensure proper monitoring of transit of forest produces, revenue generation and prevention of illegal transport and wildlife crimes, he added.

Manipur has been named as a ‘Champion State’ in the country for its successful implementation of Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY). It can be mentioned that since the launch of PMVDY in 2019, 100 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs) have been established with the formation on 1557 SHGs benefitting 30189 tribal entrepreneurs in fourteen forest divisions of Manipur.

He said Manipur is among the highest forest cover states (as per percentage of total geographical area) in India with 75.46 percent as compared to the recommendation set under the National Forest Policy that 60 percent forest cover must be in the mountains and hilly regions.

Stating that single and double barrel cartridge guns will be provided soon to the forest guards, the minister said for the first time they will be equipped with weapons as the state government understands that the less manpowered forest guards face various challenges during their duty round the clock.

He expressed his happiness over the awareness of the people both in the valley and the hills regarding the importance of water. Calling upon all sections of the society to help the state departments and to contribute in the conservation process, he said the Rejuvenation and Conservation of Nambul River Project is undertaken at present and assured such projects to be taken up in future.

Stating that the department has been carrying out awareness activities, he said recently a month-long media campaign ‘Know Your Sanctuaries and Wetlands’ was conducted along with the media persons.

The minister sought cooperation from all the stakeholders of the society in helping the department in the conservation and protection of the forest and wildlife.

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