July 14, 2019
Major achievements of the State Forest Department
On the occasion of Van Mahotsav, let us look at the major achievements of the Forest Department.
Sabujshree Scheme: It was launched to encourage afforestation and ensure survival of plants. Good quality seedlings distributed to mothers of all newborns born in government hospitals. About 24 lakh mothers have received the seedlings.
Auction of forest products: The West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC) has started e-auction for disposal of forest produce. In FY 2018-19, Rs 128.6 crore has been earned from 657 e-auctions.
Forest products: Crude honey amounting to 28.24 metric tonnes has been collected from forests through fringe dwellers in the Sundarbans. Lac cultivation is being implemented for uplifting forest fringe populations. This would benefit about 4,000 families.
Jalatirtha: Under the Jalatirtha Scheme, more than 1,700 hectares have benefitted (till October 2018) in the arid areas of Bankura and Purulia districts.
Forest conservation: Afforestation of 9,508 hectares of forest and non-forest areas has been carried out. Under the JICA-assisted West Bengal Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Project’s community infrastructure development activities, over 600 joint forest management committees (JFMC) have been started.
Wasteland conversion: The West Bengal Forest Development Corporation is greening 30,000 hectares of wastelands in south Bengal by converting the areas into plantations.
Conservation of medicinal plants: The Research, Monitoring & Development (RMD) Wing of the Forest Department has created 435 hectares of medicinal trees, herbs and shrubs.
Wildlife: The first phase of Bengal Safari Park in Siliguri has been completed ahead of target. Under the West Bengal Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Project, biodiversity studies have been initiated to study the population dynamics and habitat management of elephant, leopard, tiger and gaur.
GIS-assisted forest management: The Forest Directorate scientifically manages the State’s forest areas using geographic information system (GIS), as per the working plans of the various forest divisions.