Comm Secy Forests inaugurates the technical workshop for the preparation of APOs

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SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 02: Secretary-Commissioner, Forests, Ecology and Environment, Sanjeev Verma today inaugurated a one-day technical workshop for the preparation of the Annual Plan of Operations (APO) for the fiscal year 2023-24 at the Banquet Lobby here.

The workshop is organized under the chairmanship of Prof. Chief Conservator of Forests and HoFF, Dr. Mohit Gera with a view to guiding implementing agencies in the preparation of science-based, results-oriented and people-centred OPAs for the next financial year.

Speaking on this occasion, the Secretary Commissioner commended the Ministry for organizing the brainstorming session on the preparation of comprehensive OPAs. He stressed that compensatory reforestation should be carried out in such a way that the loss of environmental goods and services due to the diversion of forest land is adequately compensated.

The Secretary-Commissioner also called on forest officers to adopt the landscape and watershed approach in treating forest areas holistically. He emphasized the construction of water harvesting infrastructure and ponds to be an integral part of the APO to improve the water and moisture regime for better habitat.

Verma also insisted on major improvement of nursery infrastructure to significantly improve plant production. He further requested that the conservation of rare, endangered and threatened (RET) plant species be incorporated into the conservation plan. He also called on the department to establish model centers for farm forestry to help farmers undertake the planting of commercial plant species on a large scale.

Dr. Mohit Gera, PCCF & HoFF, in his address, emphasized the need to make scientific proposals in accordance with the prescriptions of the work plan. He also insisted on formulating plans in an integrated manner in which the upper parts of the landscape are handled by the Department of Soil and Water Conservation and the areas close to dwellings are handled by the Department of Social Forestry.

Dr. Gera also gave a detailed presentation on producing quality planting material using modern nursery techniques. He emphasized the preparation of special plans for the prevention and control of forest fires.

The CEO of CAMPA, Sarvesh Rai, explained on the occasion the regulatory framework of CAMPA. He stressed the need to have meaningful consultation with the Panchayats in the formulation of OPAs so that the demands of local communities for fodder, wood and firewood and other forest products are met.

Among others, the director of the Department of Social Forestry, Roshan Jaggi; Chief Wildlife Warden, Suresh Kumar Gupta; Director of J&K Soil and Water Conservation Department, J TSAshok; The Managing Director, JK Forest Development Corporation, Vasu Yadav, the Director of the Department of Environment and Remote Sensing and other senior managers of the department were also present on the occasion and gave detailed presentations from their respective fields.

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