Guwahati, Nov 13: A French delegation from Agence Française de Développement (AFD) India on Saturday reiterated its commitment to stepping up the Assam government’s efforts to protect biodiversity and increase green spaces in the state.
The delegation, led by its director Bruno Bosle, called on Environment and Forests Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary to discuss the status of project implementation in the area of biodiversity protection and improving the livelihoods of AFD-funded forest-dependent communities, an official press release said .
Patowary thanked the delegation for the continued support of the AFD and the advance allocation of funds to the project, assuring that the overall collaboration will be extended by the Forest Service to achieve the goals within the set timeframe.
The state government will take steps to include AfD funds for the project in the supplementary budget during the winter session of the National Assembly in December for swift disbursement, the minister said. The state government’s goal is to increase the proportion of forest to 38 percent from the current 36 percent, he added.
The minister urged the delegation to launch more such projects in Assam to protect biodiversity and ecology.
The first phase of the project ran from 2012 to 2019, while the second phase started in 2019.
The total budget of Phase 2 is 62.5 million euros (500 million rupees), of which AFD’s share accounts for 80 percent of the total budget – 50 million euros (400 million rupees) and 20 percent, ie 12.5 million euros (100 million rupees). rupees). the state’s share.
Of the project’s 12,500 hectares of plantations, 8,992 hectares have already been reached, which is 71.88 percent of the target.
During its ongoing visit to Assam, the AFD team also attended the ONFI (French Forest Service International) workshop held in Kaziranga on Thursday.
The delegation also visited Orang National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Manas and Nameri National Parks to study the different aspects of landscape connectivity, flood management, functional corridors, human-wildlife conflict management, habitat management and mechanisms for conservation Understand anti-poaching in the state.