Guwahati, Nov 13: A French delegation from Agence Française de Développement (AFD) India on Saturday reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen the efforts of the Assam government to protect biodiversity and increase the green cover of the state.
The delegation led by the director of that agency Bruno Bosle called on the Minister of Environment and Forests Chandra Mohan Patowary to discuss the status of the implementation project in the area of biodiversity conservation and development of livelihoods of communities dependent on forests funded by AFD. An official statement said.
Patowary thanked the delegation for the continuous support of AFD and the release of funds for the project and assured that all cooperation will increase the forest department to achieve the goals set for the period.
The state government will take steps to get the funds from AFD for the project to be included in the subsidy budget during the winter session of the council in December to be paid quickly, said the minister. The goal of the state government was to increase the forest cover from the current 36 percent to 38 percent, he added.
The Minister urged the delegation to initiate such projects in Assam to protect biodiversity and environment.
The first phase of this project was implemented from 2012 to 2019 and the second phase was launched in 2019.
The total budget for Phase 2 is 62.5 million euros (Rs 500 crore) of which AFD’s share is 80% of the total budget – 50 million euros (Rs 400 crore) and 20 percent ie 12.5 million euros (Rs 100 crore). ). regional share.
Of the 12,500 hectares of planned plantations in the project, 8,992 hectares have already been achieved which constitutes 71.88 percent of the target.
During the visit to Assam, the AFD team also participated in ONFI (French Forest Service International) workshop at Kaziranga on Thursday.
The delegation also visited the Orang National Park, the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Manas and Nameri National Parks, to understand the different aspects of landscape connectivity, flood management, work corridors, human-wildlife conflict management, environmental management and anti-poaching systems in the region.