New Delhi:Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) today signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide Official Development Assistance Loan(ODA) of 14,512 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 900crores) for the Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project (Phase2). The ODA loan’s conditions are very concessional, i.e. 0.3%interest rate for project activities and 0.01% for consulting services and 40 years of repayment period (including 10years of grace period). This is a loan forthe second phase after “Orissa Forestry Sector Development Project (Phase1)”, which was signed in 2006 to provide up to 13,937 million Japanese Yen.Phase 2 aims to enhance forest ecosystem along with sustainable livelihood of local people by improving sustainable forest management, sustainable biodiversity conservation and community development, thereby contributing to harmonization between environmental conservation and socio-economic development in the Project area in Odisha State.
The agreement was signed between Mr.Takema SAKAMOTO, Chief Representative, JICA India Office and Mr. S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, Government of India in New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office said, ” In order to address the problem of forest degradation and ultimately to conserve forest ecosystem, it is crucial to enhance and strengthen livelihood of the forest fringe communities which are highly dependent on forest ecosystem. Therefore, the Project will selecttarget areasby prioritizing the areas witnessing high forest degradation as well as high concentration of forest dweller to sustain the forest and people’s life.”
Sustainable forest management has been promoted by Joint Forest Management (JFM) plantation and community/tribal development through Phase 1 which had been supported by JICA from FY2006-07 to FY2015-16.Phase2 consists of similar strategies and approaches that Phase 1 of the project had. However, to expand and upgrade the Project impact, additional components will be added to strengthen the Project with an all-inclusive approach. Some of them areenhancedsupport of cluster business development,gender mainstreaming, climate changesthrough scientific monitoring methodsand needs based strategic funding. For sustainable biodiversity management, Japanese concept of “SATOYAMA”will be adopted in the project. SATOYAMA is the landscapemodel that includes both human production activities such as forestry, agriculture and animal husbandry, and natural habitats where human influence is an essential aspect of the local ecosystem.Therefore, SATOYAMA initiative can provide ways to utilize and manage natural environment to sustain and improve daily lives of forest fringe villagers.
The new target areas of 12 Forest Divisions and 2 Wildlife Divisions in Odisha State will be taken up in Phase 2. The need of strengthening sustainable forest management through JFM mode is addressed in Phase 2 of the Project with enhancement of micro plan as a means for optimizing community development activities.
The Executing Agency for the Project is Forest and Environment Department, Government of Odisha.