Bamboo Plantation Current Affairs - 2019
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Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb launched the Sustainable Catchment Forest Management (SCATFORM) project which is undertaken with the assistance of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).
Sustainable Catchment Forest Management (SCATFORM) project
The SCATFORM project aims to address issues such as forest cover loss and forest degradation have been mainly caused by shifting cultivation, which increases soil erosion risks on hill slopes especially in upper catchment areas.
The SCATFORM project being would be implemented mainly in upper catchments where forest degradation and soil erosion are severe and livelihood improvement needs are high. The project aims to the improve quality of forest in the catchment area by sustainable forest management, soil and moisture conservation and livelihood development.
The activities undertaken under the project involves promotion of bamboo plantation, agroforestry based livelihood, eco-tourism development, development of value addition for bamboo and other Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) in order to create alternate livelihood opportunities for local communities.
The 80 per cent of the cost is contributed by JICA and the rest would be funded by the state and central governments.
Japan International Cooperation Agency
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to promote international cooperation as the Japanese governmental agency in charge of official development assistance implementation. JICA which is an incorporated administrative institution under the Government of Japan is the world’s largest bilateral donor agency.
President Ram Nath Kovind has promulgated an ordinance under Article 123 of Constitute to amend Indian Forest Act, 1927 to encourage bamboo plantation by farmers in private lands.
The ordinance omits bamboo (taxonomically a grass) grown in non-forest areas from definition of trees. The omission, thereby exempts it from requiring permits for felling or transportation of bamboo grown in non-forest areas.
With this, bamboo grown in non-forest areas ceases to be tree. However, bamboo grown in forest areas continues to be governed by provisions of Indian Forest Act. The amendment to Section 2(7) of Indian Forest Act, 1927 will encourage bamboo plantation by farmers, which will contribute to doubling farmers income by 2022.
India has largest area under bamboo cultivation and is second richest in terms of bamboo genetic resources after China. India has 19% share of world’s area under bamboo cultivation, its market share in sector is only 6%. But, India’s massive potential was not utilised to increase country’s share in global bamboo market. As result, India is currently importing timber and allied products such as pulp, paper and furniture, etc. The amendment will help in addressing some of these issues, besides meeting the demand from domestic production.
Significance of Amendments
By omitting bamboo grown in non-forest areas from definition of trees, government hoped to promote cultivation of bamboo in non-forest areas to achieve the “twin objectives” of increasing the income of farmers and also increasing the green cover of the country.
The amendment approved will allow free movement of bamboo and ensure that production and consumption centres are seamlessly integrated. This will generate demand for raw material leading to planting of bamboo trees on non-forest land, provide employment and encourage growth of small and medium industries in villages and smaller towns also, and reduce our dependence on imports.