Omar stresses on conservation of State’s bio-diversity


JAMMU – Laying stress on conservation and protection of rich bio-diversity of Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Monday emphasized the need for rejuvenating the depleted forests and raising massive plantation on vacant available areas.

“Protection of forest wealth and rejuvenation of degraded forests are all the more necessary to maintain ecology, restrict climate change, save water bodies and fauna and flora of the State”, he said asking for full utilization of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) initiative in this regard.

Chairing the 2nd Governing Body meeting of CAMPA here today, Omar Abdullah said that the survival rate of newly planted planting material needs to be monitored regularly by the departmental agencies as well as those of independent ones. He asked the Forest Department to fast track the process of third party monitoring for monitoring afforestation programmes and other aspects pertaining to upgradation and development of forests in the State.

Omar Abdullah said that plantation of Deodar, Conifer and other forest plants should be ensured in forest areas under the CAMPA besides taking befitting measures for protection of wildlife. He said fauna of Jammu and Kashmir is rear and world famous. “We should be highly sensitive in conserving this rich wealth”, he told the Governing Body adding that the provisions available under CAMPA for the purpose of safeguarding wildlife should be taken full advantage of.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather, Minister for Forests, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Minister for Planning and Development, Ajay Sadhotra, Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal, Financial Commissioner, Finance, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey, Principal Secretary Planning and Development, B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Principal Chief Conservator Forests, Vinod Ranjan, Commissioner Secretary, Forests, Ajaz Iqbal and various other senior officers.

The Chief Minister received the brief on progress and achievements registered under CAMPA in the State for the last three years since 2009 when this programme was launched. He also got appraisal of the implementation of decisions taken in the first Governing Body meeting of CAMPA.

In a PowerPoint presentation Ajaz Iqbal said that 69.31 lakh planting material has been planted in forest area during last two years under the CAMPA. He said the survival rate of plants has been registered at 70 percent. He said as against diversion of 11151 hectares of forest land for development purposes, about 18000 hectares have been brought under forest cover during last two years while 13000 hectares are being covered during the current year.

The Commissioner Secretary said that more than 2885 hectares have been treated for rejuvenation and upgradation of forest cover under CAMPA while 144 nurseries have been established ensuring at least one nursery in each Forest Zone. He said as against the production target of 33.31 lakh plants, more than 44.24 lakh forest plant varieties including Deodar and Conifer have been produced in these nurseries last year and forest plants were for the first time put to public sale from these nurseries to encourage afforestation by common people.

The meeting reviewed the physical and financial achievements, execution of works by Wildlife Protection Department and Action Taken report on the decisions besides strategies formulated for execution of CAMPA works during the next financial year.

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