J&K Govt launches new forest policy

Jammu, Jan 31 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Government todaylaunched a new policy aimed at conserving biodiversity,rehabilitation and protection of degraded forests amongothers.

"We have launched new forest policy-2010 aimed toconserve bio-diversity, rehabilitation of degraded forests,protection of forest land and creating a sustained people''smovement for healthy forests in the state," Minister forForests and Environment Mian Altaf said today.

He said the state forest policy has been formulatedafter extensive consultations with the stakeholders from civilsociety, NGOs, government departments, local communities andcommercial organisations.

Altaf said the policy recognises the role forests inpoverty alleviation and in meeting the needs of society.

He announced that participatory forest management willbe central to forestry activities."People will be involved invarious aspects of forest protection and management atplanning," he said.

In order to maintain a continuous flow of goods aswell as environmental services, the forest policy prescribesvarious strategies for sustainable management of forestresources.

Considering the potential of forests for climatechange mitigation and adaptation, this policy lays emphasis onenhancement of forest carbon stocks and also provides forhundred percent incentives flow to the local community, Altafsaid.

Popularising eco-tourism and nature tourism will be akey strategy for utilising the unique forest landscape of thestate for providing employment avenues to the local people,the Minister said.

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