20 Mar, 2022
The policymakers of the Government of Himachal Pradesh (H.P.) had expressed a keen interest to explore concurrent approaches such as Incentive-Based Mechanisms (IBMs), including Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) and cross-sectoral convergence for operationalising the PES policy in the state. Consequently, a one-day awareness workshop was jointly convened by the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department (HPFD) and the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystem Services (FES) project on 20 March 2022 at Chandigarh. The event saw the participation of dignitaries such as the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Forests, Ms Nisha Singh; the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Head of Forest Force (HoFF), Mr Ajay Srivastava; Advisor Planning Department, Dr Basu Sood; Chief Project Director (CPD), KfW Project, Ms Basu Kaushal, officials from Jal Shakti and H.P. Integrated Development Project (IDP) and other senior forest department officials.
The workshop commenced with welcome remarks by Ms Neha Chakravarty, Technical Expert (GIZ) followed by opening remarks by Mr Srivastava who impressed upon the need for adoption of innovative approaches like IBMs, including PES, and cross-sectoral convergence for sustainable forest management.
This was followed by a presentation on the FES project progress till date by the Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) projects, Dr Pushpendra Rana. Responding to the presentation, Ms Nisha Singh expressed the need to communicate the project benefits to the communities for successful project implementation. She also emphasised exploring possible synergies with other Externally Aided Projects (EAPs).
Thereafter, examples of pine needle and lantana-based IBMs and related convergence issues were presented by CCF Kullu, Mr Anil Joshi. Following this, a session on the successful case studies of PES and IBMs at Palampur was conducted by the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) of Palampur, Dr Nitin Patil.
Ms Basu Kaushal gave an overview of KfW’s Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystems Climate Proofing Project and IBM mechanisms.
Subsequently, the concepts of FES and institutionalisation of IBMs were presented by Mr Ritesh Sharma, Technical Advisor (GIZ). A draft model on how IBMs could be used as tools for convergence amongst various line departments to share the forest management mandate was set forth. Ms Nisha Singh emphasised the need of reintroducing forests to the children and the exigency for IBMs to be institutionalised rather than being individual driven processes.
The participants also actively took part in a panel discussion and talked about the need of introducing the concepts of FES and IBMs into the forest training curricula and the importance of monitoring in micro-planning.
The following agreements were made, based on the interactive sessions on the concepts of FES and IBMs:
The next steps included preparing comprehensive convergence plans with the HPFD and other EAPs, organising awareness meetings with other line departments and sensitising policymakers on the concepts of FES and IBMs. The workshop was successfully concluded with a vote of thanks by the DCF Projects, Mr Raman Sharma.
Photo credits: GIZ/Jyoti Kashyap
Integrating the lessons from HP-FES, a follow-up project on ‘Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystem Services (FES)’ is being implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, State Forest Departments of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and GIZ India on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It aims to strengthen forest and agroforest management to integrate the Forest Ecosystem Services approach with a focus on water availability. Read More
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