Buffer zone activities in 230 villages this year

August 24, 2012 12:28 am | Updated 12:28 am IST - Chennai:

The State Forest Department will spend nearly Rs. 6 crore for maintenance of degraded plantations raised on 47,000 hectares and carry out buffer zone activities in 230 villages this year.

Along with activities under infrastructure improvement, forestry extension, research, monitoring and evaluation and GIS, the buffer zone activities will be carried out this year under Tamil Nadu Afforestation Project (Phase II). The project is being implemented from 2005-06 to 2012-13 with an outlay of Rs. 567 crore in 950 villages (800 under Japan International Cooperation Agency and 150 under State funds).

The buffer zone activities will get Rs. 210 lakh with the main objective of rehabilitation of forest dependents and other economically weaker sections and providing civic amenities in these villages.

The forest dependents, total and partial, will be the target groups for income generation activities for which 67 per cent of the funds will be spent, said forest officials. The rest will be spent on construction of amenities.

Buffer zone works are to compensate the villagers for the opportunity costs of conservation by providing some immediate benefits as well as alternatives to forest dependence, officials note adding that the works were being carried out over a five-year period to ensure continuous involvement of dependents.

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