Chief Secretary emphasizes use of IT tools, drones and mobile apps for real-time forest monitoring

JAMMU, NOVEMBER 16: Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today chaired the 20th Steering Committee Meeting of the Compensatory Reforestation Fund Planning and Management Authority (CAMPA) to review the achievements recorded in the framework of the annual operations plan (APO) for the year 2021-22.

On this occasion, the chief secretary launched the department’s information brochures presenting forestry interventions in Kandi areas for rainwater harvesting under the ongoing Jal Shakti Abhiyan; complete profile of slope stabilization techniques; “One Beat Guard – One Village” program; and a profile brochure of the UT bird – Pheasant Kalij.

The Chief Secretary also launched the study report on risk zoning and forest fire vulnerability assessment in Jammu and Kashmir.

In addition, a short documentary “From Forest Diversion to Eco-Restoration” on the Forestry Department’s efforts to promote the rehabilitation of degraded forests by stimulating natural regeneration and additional afforestation was also released today.

In addition, the J&K CAMPA web portal has been launched to facilitate APO preparation and progress tracking through real-time online mode.

The Chief Secretary called on the department to further increase its operations by hosting the GPS coordinates of completed and ongoing work on the department’s website; strengthening of third-party evaluation of works; and ensure greater involvement of village planting committees in conservation efforts.

The chief secretary highlighted the use of computer tools, drones and mobile applications for real-time monitoring, in addition to ensuring the participation of people in the conservation, protection and regeneration of forests . The ministry has been asked to complete the audit of CAMPA’s accounts by November 30, 2021.

He was informed that under the “One Beat Guard-One Village” program, 1000 villages will benefit from low cost greening interventions through Panchayati Raj institutions assisted by a Beat Guard.

Interventions will include large-scale distribution, planting and monitoring of saplings for 3-5 years to ensure maximum survival and growth of plants and grasses in the village and Panchayat. Local products should help local communities to sustainably meet the demand for minor forest products, viz. wood, fuelwood, fodder and grasses.

The chief secretary called on the department to improve forest-based livelihoods among rural communities in collaboration with the science and technology department for the use of biomass and weeds like lantana and grass. pine needles in various industries.

The Department was further asked to develop closer links with village communities through “One Beat Guard, One Village Program” and “Village Panchayat Plantation Committees” and to formulate plans to meet their fodder needs, wood and non-wood forest products.

He highlighted the establishment of links between forestry activities and Jal Shakti Department to improve the water regime to help local communities.

The chief secretary further instructed the department to identify all degraded forest areas in Jammu and Kashmir and formulate plans for their rehabilitation in three years, in addition to ensuring convergence with the rural development department, in this regard.

Reviewing the implementation of special projects, the Chief Secretary asked the Department to focus on treating the watersheds of various water sources; the rehabilitation of Lake Wular and Tosamaidan; and stabilization of steep gradient slopes.

Administrative Secretaries of the Departments of Finance, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Forest Ecology and Environment, Planning, Development and Monitoring, Revenue and Tribal Affairs, in addition to Senior Chief Conservator of Forests J&K, Director of Ecology, L Environment and Remote Sensing, APCCF (CAMPA), Director of Social Forestry, Chief Wildlife Custodian and senior managers from forestry and related services attended the meeting. The representative of the Government of India, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change and the unofficial member Ch.Asif Iqbal (lawyer) as expert and representative of tribal communities were also present.

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