The government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Friday discussed ways to strengthen the working environment and reviewed the achievements in various forestry projects being run with the assistance of the agency.

JICA-assisted forestry projects have been facilitating environmental improvement through increased forest cover, effective soil and moisture conservation, institutional strengthening, introduction of management processes and latest technologies at state forest departments, Chief Representative of its India office Takema Sakamoto said.

"They have been also contributing immensely to improve livelihood of people who are dependent on forests, he said at the seventh Forestry Project Director’s meeting organised by JICA here.

"Friday’s convention has showcased the work which we have achieved over the years and learning from the implementation of JICA assisted forestry projects in India and will continue to contribute to the development of forestry sector in India, realising sustainable and replicable huge impacts of our projects," Sakamoto said.

Rekha Pai, Inspector General of Forests, Environment Ministry appreciated the work and achievements of JICA projects in forestry and natural resources management sector in the country.

Sachiko Imoto, Senior Representative of JICA’s India Office said this meeting serves as a forum for mass learning and sharing experiences and best practices among JICA-assisted Forestry and Natural resource Management Projects.

The agency has committed 225.8 billion Japanese Yen for 23 projects, across 13 states of the country and supported 22 forestry projects.