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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tree planting scheme mooted for forest lands

Coimbatore: The Forest Department is embarking on a project for carrying out afforestation and greenery regeneration activity in 1,550 acres of forest lands under the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) and Integrated Watershed Development Project (IWDP).The choice of villages is based on tribal population and the extent of degradation.

The District Forest Officer, Coimbatore Division, I. Anwardeen and District Forest Officer, Social Forestry Division, M. Premnath told The Hindu that at an estimated outlay of Rs 2 to Rs 2.5 crores, more than 1.5 lakh saplings were to be planted in these areas. Largely, they would be fruit-bearing trees. Besides, 25 per cent of the saplings would be medicinal plant varieties enabling the tribal community to reap economic benefits through Village Forest Committees.

Tribals would enjoy the rights over the Minor Forest Produce (MFP) and the benefits of the medicinal plants.

Saplings would be grown in the nurseries of the Forest Department and would be bigger and hardier, to ensure better survival.

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