JONAI, March 13 - The much-hyped afforestation policy formulated by the Department of Environment and Forests, which is being implemented in Poba Reserve Forest (RF) under Dhemaji Forest Division (Territorial), has reportedly made considerable progress since its inception.
The Environment and Forest Department is taking up a plantation scheme under the Joint Forest Management (JFM) covering degraded portions of Poba Reserve Forest (RF) which falls under Jonai Forest Range in order to protect its greenery and natural ecosystem.
Thus, the department has involved the Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMC)s and allotted them plantation work. It has involved the JFMCs at Abor Leku and Rigbi villages under JFM projects, which have achieved around 60 hectare plantation in the RF during the last two years.
Forest Department sources informed that it has set a target to develop plantation in 150 hectare area under the JFM scheme covering degraded forest portions within a period of ten years. It has developed a one-hectare nursery at Leku Beat Office of Poba RF for the work and has been supplying seedlings of different species of trees to JFMCs, EDCs, NGOs and school children for plantation activities.
The department also grants sanction under Entry Point Activity (EPA) head of the JFM scheme for construction of roads and bridges, community hall and provides mechanised weaving sets to JFMC members and fringe area villagers.
Thus, Abor Leku village located along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary has received an amount of Rs 18 lakh for construction of multipurpose community hall, while another such scheme for Rigbi village is still awaiting sanction.
Meanwhile, the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and Rashtriya Grameen Vikash Nidhi (RGVN) in collaboration with the Environment and Forest Department conducted a month-long skill development training programme on electrical house-wiring and mechanised weaving meant for JFMC members and rural entrepreneurs, who have been presented certificates after completion of the training.
The department also facilitates ‘Exposure Tour’ for the women weavers from time to time and educates them on quality handicraft production through mechanised weaving.