BHUBANESWAR: Forest cover in Odisha is increasing since the last few years, thanks to sustainable biodiversity management. As per latest statistics, the State has witnessed an increase of 885 sq/km of forest area between 2015 and 2017.
Inaugurating the annual review meeting of Odisha Forestry Sector Development Society (OFSDS) here on Thursday, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Head of Forest Force Sandeep Tripathi stressed on sustainable biodiversity management on the lines of ‘Satoyama’, a Japanese concept.
“Satoyama is a socio-ecological landscape-based model which is being tried in the State, particularly in Bhitarkanika and Bamra wildlife divisions. A report card of the two divisions is being prepared for better management of their ecosystem,” he informed. The model includes forestry, agriculture and animal husbandry as well as natural habitats where human influence is an essential aspect of the local ecosystem.
In order to improve forest ecosystem by promoting sustainable management, the first phase of Odisha Forestry Sector Development project was launched in the State in 2006 with financial assistance from JICA. Later in 2017, phase II was launched and ‘Satoyama’ concept was added to the project for sustainable forest conservation.
Odisha Forestry Sector Development project and ‘Ama Jangala Yojana’ are being executed by OFSDS. While the project aims to restore degraded forests by forestry interventions, the yojana will promote sustainable forest management with emphasis on livelihood support for communities living in forest fringe villages.