Himachal Pradesh government is aiming to bring 30 percent of total geographical area under forest cover by 2030, state forest minister Rakesh Pathania said on Wednesday.
After launching Himachal Forest Ecosystem Services Project (HIMFES), Pathania said various schemes had been as ‘Ek Buta Beti ke Naam’, ‘Van Samridhi Jan Samridhi’ and ‘Vidyarthi Mitra Yojana’ etc had been launched to achieve the target.
“Under the able Leadership of our chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, the state has witnessed unprecedented all-round development. It is a matter of pride that the state government has achieved exceptional progress in the core areas of health, education, infrastructure development and upliftment of the poor in Himachal,” he added.
He stated that Himachal had been a forerunner in implementing the policies and programmes that are relevant to protection of our environment and forests and help in mitigation of climate change.
Himachal Pradesh had a long history of implementing projects in the forest sector with the coordination of bilateral and multilateral funding agencies.
The externally aided projects play a crucial role in evolving approaches and models that address the current challenges faced in forest management, the minister said.
He further stated that the current project will cover two western Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and the cost of the project will be Rs 33 crore.
In Himachal Pradesh, the project will be implemented in the selected panchayats of Kangra, Chamba and Mandi district.
Pathania stated that through the current project sustainable management of forest ecosystem services will be implemented and the lessons learnt during previous projects on managing the forests for ecosystem services will be shared with Uttarakhand.
Besides, the project will focus on engaging with other line departments, externally aided projects, private sector and Panchayati Raj Institutes to seek convergence of resources and capacities, with the objective of managing forests for water services.
“The forest department is running many schemes and because of that there has been an increase of 333.52 sq km forest area as per the report of Indian State of Forest Cover 2019 of Forest Survey of India in the last two years,” he added.