Inauguration of Tripura JICA Project, Phase - II (SCATFORM)

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Inauguration of JICA Supported Project for Sustainable Catchment Forest Management Assures Continuous Improvement of Forests in Tripura
- Promoting Sustainable Life by Focusing on Catchment Protection -

Agartala, January 16, 2019: The JICA-supported Project for Sustainable Catchment Forest Management (SCATFORM) was officially inaugurated in Tripura today. The objective of the Project is to manage and enhance forest area ecosystems in the project area, by sustainable forest ecosystem management, biodiversity conservation, livelihood improvement support and strengthening institutional capacity, thereby contributing to environmental conservation and sustainable socio-economic development in Tripura.

The inauguration ceremony was organized by Tripura Forest Department and was attended by Shri. Biplab Kumar Deb, than Hon'ble Chief Minister, Government of Tripura (GoT); Shri Mevar Kumar Jamatia, than Hon'ble Minister, Forest and Tribal Welfare, GoT; Dr. Alind Rastogi, than Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) & Head of Forest Force (HoFF), Tripura Forest Department (TFD); Dr. Angshuman Dey, than CEO & Project Director, Chief Conservator of Forests, TFD; Dr. Dilip Das, Hon'ble MLA; Shri Krishnadhan Das, Hon'ble MLA; Mr. Toru Uemachi, Senior Representative, JICA India Office along with dignitaries from Government of India and Forest Department of Tripura.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Toru Uemachi, JICA India said, "Through this project, JICA focuses to improve the quality of forests in Tripura and to conserve the ecosystem through participatory and collaborative management. The Project will work towards enhancing forest ecosystems through catchment protection approach, thereby improving the quality of forest and lives of forest-dependent communities in the state. One of the unique approaches of this project is co-financing by the State Government which is done to promote and uplift sustainability of selected activities of the Project and showcase the strong initiative by the Forest Department. Also, JICA aims to collaborate for the enhancement of the bamboo industry through the Project under the idea of "Japan-India Act East Forum". This forum's objective is to expand the cooperation between Japan and India in the North Eastern Region (NER)."

Earlier, in October 2018, JICA had signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of 12,287 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 750 Crore) for The Project for Sustainable Catchment Forest Management in Tripura.

The Tripura Forest Department (TFD) is the Executing Agency of the Project. The Project will be implemented mainly in upper catchments where forest degradation and soil erosion are severe and livelihood improvement needs are high. The activities will include promotion of bamboo plantation, agroforestry based livelihood, eco-tourism development, development of value addition for bamboo and other Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) in order to create alternative livelihood opportunities for local communities. As bamboo is a key resource, strong emphasis shall be laid on enhancing the production base and value addition of bamboo production.

JICA has been consistently working to help develop the forestry sector in Tripura. In 2007, JICA had extended an ODA loan of 7,725 million Japanese (approximately INR 490 crore) Yen for the Tripura Forest Environmental Improvement and Poverty Alleviation Project (TFIPAP) which had focused on more plantation and improvement of livelihood activities. Since 1991-92, JICA has committed 270 billion Japanese Yen (approximately INR 17,000 Crore) for 27 projects in 14 states of India in the forestry sector.