Forest Department organizes Biodiversity awareness programme in Anantnag

Anantnag June 02 (KNS):  Today an Biodiversity awareness  programme was organized by Forest Department  at Forest Campus Bijbehara in which 40 Range Officer Trainees from Himachal Pradesh Forest Academy participated. Among others who participated in the programme included Dr. Mehraj , Divisional Forest Officer Lidder, Dr. Mumtaz Majeed,Deputy Director FPF Lidder, Nawab Ahmad Magray,Deputy Director  FPF Anantnag and other Forest frontline staff of Lidder Forest Division.

Conservator of Forests, South Circle Shri Irfan Ali IFS was the Chief Guest on the occasion who in his address highlighted various Greening and livelihoods initiatives of forest department.  He talked about  biodiversity of Jammu and Kashmir and mentioned about 42 types of Forests in J&K .. He further said that South Kashmir is blessed with different water bodies, lush green forests of  Fir, Kail, Deodar and rivers like  Lidder, Aharabal, Rambiara, Bringi etc. 

The Conservator of Forests said that there are 22 Forest Nurseries in Kashmir South Circle having a total of about 22.00 lac plant potential and every year about 5-6 lac plants are taken out from these Nurseries. These Nurseries are being managed in line with the modern scientific technologies. These nurseries not only acts source of successful plantation but also provides livelihood to the people of South Kashmir.

Mr Shah further talked about Green J&K Drive programme of the Department and said that  100 percent target has been achieved by Kashmir South Circle against the target of 16.50 lac plants. He also talked about other flagship programmes like Har Gaon Haryali, One Beat Guard One Village Programme and involvement of locals as well as representatives of grass root level Panchayati Raj Institutions for achieving the desired targets. He further said that seed ball technology has also been introduced by J&K Forest Department which is low cost greening intervention technology adopted by the Forest Department during previous year for treatment of degraded lands at very low cost. He further said that  saplings in thousands  including of Deodar, Poplar mawas have been distributed among the pubic free of cost in South Kashmir. He also said that plantation units are being raised by the Forest department to treat the degraded forest areas and have a good success rate. He also spoke about the Nagar Van Scheme under which towns and peri Urban areas have been taken up for creating green lungs. All these plantation programmes are being taken up in collaborative mode alongwith all the stake holders like Panchayat Raj institutions, DDCs, Sarpanchs, Army, Educational Institutions, Health Department and other line departments. He also said that in order to provide livelihood opportunities to the locals, about 6.80 lacs mandays are likely to be generated in South Kashmir under MNREGA Convergence.

The Conservator of Forests informed the Trainees that forest department has opened several Trek Routes all over J&K  for nature lovers.  Forest Rest Houses have also been opened up for online bookings so that tourists  visit these off beat  destinations for better appreciation of  Forests and environment. He informed about the Eco-Tourism festivals are being held by in collaboration with different departments and recently a successful mega festival was organized in Kulgam Forest Division of South Forest Circle in collaboration with District Administration Kulgam.
Mr Shah also spoke about Wood Based industry  and said that we support the wood based industries as these are providing livelihood to lot of people connected with it. He further said that meetings of State Level Committee headed by PCCF J&K  are being held at regularly now who accord various kinds of approvals for such Industries.

He further said that Forest department is making efforts for conserving and managing the waterbodies inside the Forests and water harvesting structures are also being constructed by the Forest Department. 

Mr Shah said that Forest protection is the prime responsibility of the department and informed that day and night patrolling of vulnerable pockets is being done in South Kashmir despite operational challenges.The Forest  Check posts have been made fully functional and use of modern technology like installation of CCTVs for enhanced surveillance has also heen done.. For effective protection, various Joint Forest Control Rooms are also functional.He also talked about Forest fires and their management.

The Conservator of Forests also talked about   several welfare measures for forest front line staff being taken by the Department.

Shri Tilak Raj Sharma, Joint Director Academics Himachal Pardesh Forest Academy also spoke on the occasion who during his speech thanked Conservator of Forests for presenting brief overview of working of Forest Department.Dr. Mumtaz Majeed, Deputy Director FPF Lidder presented vote of thanks.(KNS)

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