UNDP–Aaranyak Livelihood project in Man-made forest at Bhairabkunda

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United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and Aaranyak, a premier
organisation working towards biodiversity conservation are jointly implementing a project for livelihood promotion through landscape conservation for six months in Dhansiri-Sikaridanga JFMC man-made forest and 13 fringe villages at Bhairabkunda, in Udalguri district bordering Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan.

An inception workshop was conducted at Maibra Camp of the JFMC, with active participation from various Government organizations, NGOs with the aim of developing think-tank to ensure consultation on the activities of the project prior to its implementation.

The event was graced by Shri Rihon Daimari, Hon’ble Minister, PHE, Public Enterprise, Govt. of Assam, Shri Prakash Ranjan Gharphalia, Deputy Commissioner, Udalguri District, Mr. John Borgoyary, Northeast Regional Head, UNDP; Shri Naba Kumar Bordoloi, DFO, Dhansiri Forest Division, Shri Rohiteswa, Commandant SSB 23 Bn Lalpool, Dipak Medhi, SDO, Agriculture, Udalguri District, Dr. Sangeeta Boro, Block Veterinary Officer, Shri Jayanta Kumar Das, Honorary Wildlife Warden, Udalguri and several other officials from Govt. Departments and NGOs.

The officials of Dhansiri-Sikaridanga JFMC were also present in the meeting. Shri Tata Daimari, Secretary of the JFMC spoke about the history of the man-made forest. It has been observed that negative interactions of Humans and Elephants have significantly reduced in the are during this year because of this forest.

The project will be implemented under the leadership of Dr. Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, Programme Secretary, Aaranyak with the team consisting of Mr. Jayanta Kumar Pathak, Manager, Environment Education & Capacity Building, Dr. Jayanta Kumar Sarma, Livelihood Specialist and two field coordinators from Aaranyak. The project aims to improve resilience among migrated youths, community collectives and micro-entrepreneurs to combat loss of livelihood due to COVID-19 through income generation activities, capacity building and skill upgradation on selected livelihood options, and collectivization for the conservation of the natural landscape. The main priority of the project is to support members of Dhansiri-Sikaridanga JFMC and nearby villages who are dependent upon the natural resources of Dhansiri-Sikaridanga JFMC. Through this project piggery, Dragon fruit orchards and Poly House for vegetable cultivation will be provided to the beneficiaries along with training for mushroom cultivation will be provided in collaboration with Bodoland University, Kokhrajhar. A team of Green Cadre will also be trained to spearhead the conservation efforts in this locality.

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