Jharkhand govt collaborates with ISB to empower state’s forest economy

Insight Online News

Hyderabad, Dec 29 : Taking a significant step towards creating jobs and wealth through a model of sustainable development, the Jharkhand government has collaborated with the Indian School of Business (ISB) for a unique initiative to empower the state’s forest economy.

In an event to mark the second anniversary of Hemant Soren-led government on Wednesday, the Department of Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste, Minority and Backward Class Welfare along with the Department of Forests, Jharkhand, signed an MoU with the Bharti Institute of Public Policy ( BIPP) at Indian School of Business (ISB) to develop scalable and sustainable solutions focusing on forest-based industrial value chains, ISB said in a release here.

The MoU was signed by Jharkhand Government Welfare Commissioner Naman Priyesh Lakra and BIPP Executive Director Prof Ashwini Chhatre, in the presence of Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais and Chief Minister Hemant Soren.

Talking about this collaboration, BIPP Executive Director Professor Ashwini Chhatre, said, “Our approach is to build and formalise linkages between major stakeholders in existing value chains for forest-based industrial raw material while creating incentives for sustainable forest management.

We will facilitate institutional and technological capacity building of communities. This vision will contribute towards meeting India’s global commitments for sustainable development”.

In January last year, Jharkhand Chief Minister, less than a month old in office, approached ISB to propose a cluster-based strategy for the development of the state’s forest economy.

Based on research on the current scale and future potential of existing value chains, the team of researchers from ISB, led by Prof Chhatre, proposed an institutional design to facilitate sustainable forest management, value addition, and industrial procurement of seasonal forest products.

The ISB team plans to pilot this approach in the Gumla district , before expanding to other districts with promising forest products.

For this, the researchers have prepared an action plan, starting with creating incentives for local communities by establishing Community Forest Resource rights under the Forest Rights Act. The team is also working closely with Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (the nodal agency for the National Rural Livelihoods Mission in Jharkhand) for supporting this vision through women’s self-help groups (SHG).

The lynchpin of the initiative is a partnership between local communities as the custodians of forest resources; industry leaders using the products of that forest, and government agencies facilitating and regulating the creation of jobs and wealth.

This unique project also represents a triple-win opportunity by reducing environmental threats, creating jobs at the bottom of the pyramid, and establishing sustainable forest management systems, the release added.


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