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India's forest income has potential of $2 bn: West Bank

Written by: Staff
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Hyderabad, Apr 9: India's total forest income has the potential to increase by 2 billion US dollars per annum in 2020, a World Bank report on Indian forests said.

Senior Natural Resource Management Specialist of the World Bank Grant Milne, one of the key authors of the report, told newmen at the release of the report here yesterday that income from forests could rise from an estimated 222 million US dollars in 2004 to around 2 billion US dollars per annum in 2020 with greater community control over forest management.

Community-based forestry offers vast potential for poverty reduction and rural economic growth in the country, the report titled ''India: Unlocking opportunities for forest-dependent people'' said.

The potential would rise from the current community-based Joint Forest Management (JFM) programme that covered 27 per cent of the national forest area, encompassing 85,000 village communities in the country, Mr Milne said.

The report draws heavily on detailed background studies in three states, Assam, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, which represent a good cross-section of JFM history, scale and implementation progress, Mr Milne added.

Observing that the forests were the second largest land-use in the country after agriculture, he said ''communities could earn upto Rs 10 lakh or more each year with an improved forest productivity and policy reforms for community forestry''.

UNI

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