Forest officials from Afghanistan on Study Tour in Mussoorie
azzayindia | November 22, 2008 at 11:56 pmby
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MUSSOORIE, 22 Nov: Forest, Agriculture and Irrigation Department officials from Afghanistan were on a study tour, here, under a project run by ICIMOD, Afghanistan. The Afghan officials who arrived from ‘Nougaon’ at the Kempty Forest Rest House were briefed by DFO, Mussoorie, AK Bannerjee on participatory and community forest management. The DFO explained the working of the Uttarakhand Forest Department and the work being done in community forest management. He also highlighted other activities like conservation and preservation of the environment done by the Mussoorie Forest Division. He also explained the run of the river projects and river catchments treatment activities being undertaken by the forest department in Mussoorie.
Tika Laxmi Gurung, staff member of ICIMOD, Afghanistan, who is also the leader of the study group, said that the officials had gained immensely from the tour. She also said the geographical and climatic conditions were different in Afghanistan, but members gained valuable experience in community forest management. She also said that ICIMOD, with its headquarters in Nepal, was here under the project, “Biodiversity and Participatory Forest Management.”
She said further that the project was being initiated in 8 countries like Nepal, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
According to Professor Nassiri, the Head of the Forest Department of Kabul University, the team consisting of 20 members had gained valuable experience in Forest Management. He was impressed by the growth in India and the work being undertaken by the Forest Department of Uttarakhand. Professor Nassiri said that the ‘Van Panchayat” model could be emulated in Afghanistan, too. He further said that reviving the modules in Afghanistan was the main focus of the study tour, as they were lost due to the 30 year long war. He thanked the Government of India and, especially, the Forest Department of Uttarakhand for this opportunity and said that such interaction in the future would benefit both the countries.
DFO AK Bannerjee welcomed the participants and explained to them the work initiated by the Forest Department.
Tomorrow, the study group will visit the mine reclamation work done by the Eco-Task Force at Chunah Khalah and the computerised Malsi Forest Fire Centre near Malsi Deer Park. The study tour, which began on 15 November, will end on 27 November.
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