Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Rs 647 cr ‘ELEMENT’ project for Nagaland

Correspondent

Amidst the growing concern over climate change, World Bank has teamed up with the State government to launch Enhancing Landscape and Ecosystem Management (ELEMENT) Project with the aim to conserving ecosystem and improving landscape.
The Rs 647-crore project will be funded both by World Bank (IBRD) Rs 517 crore and the State government Rs 130 crore.
In an introductory programme on the project held here at Hotel Vivor on Monday, a representative from World Bank– senior environmental specialist Pyush Dogra, while projecting the strategy of the funding agency, stressed on guiding principles and approaches like landscape approach for forests with integrated water approach, biodiversity; promotion of sustainable livelihoods, strengthening collaborative community participation; community-led, owned and managed/capacity building for planning and convergence and leverage of existing programmes.
It was informed that the preparation for the project concept note (PCN) was at its initial stage.
The project will operate in all 16 districts of the State over a period of five years and the coverage will be completed phase-wise. The proposed project duration will be from July 2022 to June 2027.
Coordination meeting is scheduled with Agriculture and allied departments on Tuesday, which would be followed by visits to Naga Model Integrated Settled Farming (NISF), jhum fields, Khonoma, etc in the following days.
A representative on behalf of the State government gave a brief presentation of the project and mentioned that for restoring and strengthening landscapes in Nagaland, communities needed to be empowered to take scientific and informed decisions in addressing climate change, ownership, local economy, biodiversity and improve ecosystem services.
The pillars of the project are adopting climate smart model, supporting green growth and sustainable livelihood and provisioning ecosystem services.
Activities such as community livelihood, irrigation, mechanisation and marketing infrastructure along with landscape management plans would be included to provide outputs such as capacity building, increase in green cover, value chains and development for market linkages.
In his keynote address, agriculture production commissioner (APC) Y Kikheto Sema disclosed that ELEMENT would be the first Work Bank project in Nagaland for agri and allied sectors, claiming that it took only seven to eight months to approve the project, excluding the COVID -19 pandemic period.
Further, he stated that about 1,300 villages existed in the State, out of which about 350-400 villages (25%) could be targeted through ELEMENT, adding that about one lakh people in the farming community could be targeted.
To also provide profit to the farming community and double the farmers’ income, Kikheto urged all agri and allied departments to work hand-in-hand, including agriculture, horticulture, water resources, livestock, etc, departments so that forests could be preserved and a totally holistic ecosystem could be maintained.
Acknowledging the unique form of traditional farming in the State, he noted that with majority of the population engaged in agriculture, the State had scope for agri-based industries. He also informed the gathering that he had suggested Government of India to adopt schemes in line with NISF in other North-eastern States.
APC expressed concern that about 73% of the State’s population was still engaged in jhum cultivation, with only 26-27% involved in settled farming. He termed jhum as not only economically unviable, but also ecologically unsustainable.
Other team members of the World Bank who were present include– Dr. Ajit Kumar Patnaik (IFS)retired principal chief conservator of forest; Avanish Kant key member of Worl Bank’s Green India team; Aditi Paul, climate change and safeguard specialist for the World Bank and other organisations; Nandini Chaudhary managing director Greencindia Consulting Pvt Ltd.
Agriculture department’s additional secretary P Nungsangwapang Jamir chaired the programme.
The World Bank team members will also have field visits on August 31 and September 1.

SourceNPN