A Japanese Government-assisted project to conserve forests and wean people away from the traditional practice of shifting cultivation in Nagaland will cover 33 villages in the first phase of its implementation. The project will altogether cover 185 villages in 11 districts of the State spread over 22 forest ranges. It will also provide both direct and indirect employment to the local residents.
The project will be implemented by the Nagaland Forest Management Project (NFMP) in a span of 10 years till 2027. According to a document provided by the NFMP, the project has three components, strengthening conservation regime through community participation, livelihood opportunities for enhanced household incomes through convergence and institutional strengthening.
A seminar on the work components of the project for the district management and field management personnel and the villages to be included in the first phase was held in Dimapur on Wednesday. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representative in India, Yuko Shinohara, attended the seminar and gave a brief introduction of the agency and its works. “JICA is a Governmental agency, which caters to the socio-economic development of Japan as well as societies around the globe,” she said.
Shinohara requested the project team and the stakeholders besides citizens, involved in the project, to work in coordination to achieve good results. She also urged the NFMP team to expedite the implementation of the projects. JICA had signed an agreement with the Centre on March 31, 2017, to provide official development assistance to eight projects in the country, including the Nagaland segment. JICA has sanctioned over Rs 400 crore to the NFMP to implement the project.
“The project aims to restore forests on the land being used for shifting cultivation and provide other means of livelihood to the local residents and enable them to contribute towards conserving sustainable environment,” Nagaland Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change CM Chang said.
Nagaland Principal Chief Conservator of Forest I Panger Jamir highlighted the challenges of the project. He said the project derailed as there was no financial assistance from the Centre during the Fourteenth Finance Commission. “It was then that the Japanese agency stepped in at the right time and infused new life into the project,” he added.