SHIMLA, July 22: Himachal Pradesh will manage and improve its forest ecosystems under a Rs 800-crore project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), official sources said on Sunday.
JICA-India official Katsuo Matsumoto will visit the state capital on Monday for the launch workshop of the project, where Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will also be present.
The 10-year project on ‘Improvement of Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystems Management and Livelihoods’, which began this fiscal, will be implemented in 61 ranges in seven forest circles in Kinnaur, Shimla, Bilaspur, Mandi, Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti districts, an official spokesperson told IANS. He said a loan agreement for the project was signed in Tokyo, Japan, on March 29 in the presence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
The project provides for 80 per cent loan and the remaining amount will be state equity. Of the loan component, 90 per cent will be a grant from the Centre.
The project aims at sustainable management of forest ecosystems, biodiversity conservation, livelihood improvement support and strengthening institutional capacity.
The JICA is already providing a Rs 321 crore assistance to the state under a crop diversification project since 2011 for bettering the socioeconomic condition of farmers in Mandi, Kangra, Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Una districts.(IANS)