GUWAHATI, Nov 2 - The French Development Agency (AFD) will provide a Rs 400-crore loan to Assam to implement a forest and biodiversity conservation project. The agreement will be signed here on Monday in the presence of French ambassador Emmanuel Lenain who began a four-day visit to the State today.
The Rs 251.50-crore Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Phase I was co-funded by AFD and the State government and it covered the entire State in a phase manner. The Phase I of the project, implemented by 32 territorial divisions, seven wildlife divisions and 13 social forestry divisions, ended in May this year.
Two agencies � AFC-IDCG India and OKD Institute � conducted separate evaluation of the Phase I of the project and based on the evaluation, it was decided to go ahead with the second phase, Principle Chief Conservator of Forest and Head of Forest Force AM Singh told The Assam Tribune.
The project vision is to enable sustainable forest and biodiversity conservation and management in Assam through multi-scale integrative planning and involvement of forest dependent communities in target areas and giving fillip to their livelihood activities through sustainable use of forest and non-forest resources.
There are three components of the project � conservation of ecosystems, community engagement and institutional strengthening of forest department � to be implemented over a period of five years.
�The aim is to carry out forest management activities in a sustainable way, add value to goods and services generated by communities through sustainable use of forest and non-forest resources and enhance the capacity of the forest department,� Singh said.
The counterpart funding of Rs 100 crore for the second phase of the project will be done by the State government.
The French envoy, accompanied by Consul General of France in Kolkata Virginie Corteval, AFD country director Bruno Bosel and other members today arrived in the State and left for Kaziranga. They will hold discussion with forest officials tomorrow. The team is also scheduled to hold separate meetings with the Governor and Chief Minister, and attend functions at Cotton University and IIT Guwahati.