Afforestation to get major boost under CAMPA in J&K

PCCF Mohit Gera and others at CAMPA meeting in Jammu on Saturday.
PCCF Mohit Gera and others at CAMPA meeting in Jammu on Saturday.

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 7: Afforestation is going to get major boost under CAMPA in Jammu and Kashmir in the coming months.
It was projected in a meeting of the Executive Committee of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to consider Annual Plan of Operations (APO’s) in the next financial year i.e. 2020-21, held under the Chairmanship of Dr Mohit Gera, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, J&K.
Other heads of the Departments and senior officers of the Forest and Allied Departments including Director Soil Conservation Department, PK Singh, Director Social Forestry Department, B. Siddartha Kumar, Chief Wildlife Warden, Suresh Gupta, NGO representatives Nazir Benazir (President, National Society for Protection of Water Resources, Wetlands and Forests, Kashmir) and Dr Gurmeet Singh (President, SAWERA, Jammu) also participated in the deliberations.
Planning for Compensatory Afforestation for 2020-21 started in September when DFOs of Forest and Allied Departments were given the tentative financial outlay for preparation of Plans. Two Technical Workshops, one each in Jammu and Srinagar to support formulation of scientific and result oriented planning were also conducted. The objective is to improve quality of forests and to rejuvenate the degraded forest areas by utilization of funds received for Compensatory Afforestation from user agencies on diversion of forest land for non forest purposes.
Annual plans have been prepared in accordance with scientific prescriptions of Working Plan of the Forest Divisions concerned. Major emphasis has been laid on preparation of plans in inclusive and innovative ways and to bring transparency and accountability with the use of technology like use of Remote Sensing, Drones and other tools of Information Technology. Also, the plans for the next year are being formulated in consultation with Panchayats, in order to meet the specific needs of local communities.
A major boost to field level Forest Infrastructure and capacity building for frontline staff has also been given in the planning. In the next financial year, it is proposed to cover around 9000 hectare area, which is a substantial increase over the current year’s targets.