Hyderabad, Oct 25 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today underlined the need for encouraging the Public Private Participation (PPP) method for the development of forests and to increase the tree cover.
Inaugurating the two-day Southern States' Forest Ministers conference here, he said the PPP method should be encouraged in a big way to promote tree cover, eco-restoration and eco-tourism in forest lands for ecological and economic benefits of the society.
Andhra Pradesh Forests and Environment Minister, Satrucharla Vijaya Ramaraju said in pursuance of the national policy, the state government had agreed to create a separate Directorate of 'Social Forestry' to promote plantation outside the forest areas, besides securing economic development for farmers and also to meet the increasing demands of the wood-based industries.
He said it was for the first time in the country that eco-tourism on forest lands had been taken up under PPP mode and a private investment of more than Rs 100 crore was being made to promote the projects.
Stating that the state government had set up a Legislative committee on Environment and Wildlife to guide and suggest measures to improve environment, he urged the Centre to operationalise the proposed 'Gramvan Yojna Scheme' for promotion of tree cover under social forestry.
He said the main objective of the conference was to have interaction and exchange of views amongst the forest departments of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and Goa on various important issues.
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