Environment awareness prog held at Ramban

Ramban, Jan 5: In a major step towards environmental well-being, the Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) of Ramban Forest Division engaged in an insightful online awareness program, partnering with the State Biodiversity Board.

The meeting saw active participation from BMC Chairpersons, Secretaries, MFP Depot owners, DFO Ramban Dr Rajan Singh, and DFO State Biodiversity Board Sh. Rakesh Abrol, along with Range and Block Officers of Ramban Forest Division. Rakesh Abrol encouraged BMCs to open bank accounts, streamlining access to benefits outlined in the NTFP policy. Addressing queries, he clarified key aspects of the policy, fostering a deeper understanding among participants.

Dr Rajan Singh, DFO Ramban, shared encouraging updates – 23 BMCs have opened accounts, yielding revenue from NTFP collection. Notably, Rs 63,000 for purchase, Rs 21,000 as collection fees, and Rs 1,850 as benefit sharing were collected in 02 panchayats, focused on the sustainable collection of 420 Kg of Dhoob species. Two NTFP Depots have been established, aligning with the objectives of the NTFP Policy 2022.

Taking the initiative further, a meeting with Biodiversity Management Committees of Banihal Range in Banihal, chaired by DFO Dr Rajan Singh, brought together Sarpanches, Chairpersons, and Secretaries of BMCs from different panchayats. The focus was on creating awareness about the recently-notified NTFP policy by the UT Government, emphasizing sustainability in NTFP collection and the creation of livelihood opportunities.

BMCs were urged to register depot owners (Traders) facilitating responsible storage and trading of NTFPs collected by local collectors in the panchayat.

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