Prepare Roadmap To Improve Health Of Forests & Enhance Living Standards Of
Forest Fringe Villagers: Odisha CM Asks DFOs (Bhubaneswar)
Pragativadi News Service
May 12, 2022
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked the Divisional Forest Officers
(DFOs) to prepare a concrete roadmap for improving the health of forests
and enhancing the living standards of forest-fringe villagers in the state.
Inaugurating a two-day conference of Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) at
the state convention centre in Lok Seva Bhawan here today, the Chief
Minister said that in spite of the difficult situation due to the COVID-19
pandemic, Odisha’s forest cover has improved in the last two years as per
India State of Forests Report- 2021.
“We have added the highest number of mangrove forests in the country and
the third-highest in a total increase of forest cover between 2019 and
2021. This has been possible due to constant support of our people, the VSS
members and tireless effort of forest staff in the field”, he said. He
called upon the officials to work towards continuing this trend in the
years to come.
The Odisha CM said that afforestation is a key component for providing
employment to people in forest fringe villages. He advised the officials to
rope in Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs) for raising seedlings for the Forest
Department. He urged to carry out the plantation programmes under the 5T
Initiative. This would bring transparency, and timeliness and encourage
teamwork among all stakeholders, he added.
The Chief Minister said that many of our forestry programmes such as Joint
Forest Management, and the Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project have
been successful in providing livelihoods and empowering the local
Speaking on various issues such as Human-Elephant conflict, Trafficking of
wildlife, and the incidents of forest fires, the Odisha CM said that these
are key concerns where we need to prepare an integrated plan with a
focussed approach for a significant reduction in such cases. Further, he
expressed happiness over Odisha becoming a leading state in harnessing
digital technology in forest management.