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National Stakeholders’ Consultation Workshop held at ICFRE

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By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 26 Aug: A National Stakeholder’s Consultation Workshop on ‘Evaluation of the Working/Effectiveness of Forestry Extension System through the Van Vigyan Kendras and Recommendation for its Strengthening’ under the Ecosystem Services Improvement Project was held at the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, here. The workshop was jointly organised by the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education and NABARD Consultancy Services, New Delhi.
Dr Arun Singh Rawat, Director General, ICFRE, inaugurated the workshop. He said that the strengthening of Van Vigyan Kendras (VVKs) would be highly beneficial for the extension of forestry research and lab to land programme. The suggestions of the workshop would be fruitful for achieving the objectives of the study.
In the welcome address, Anurag Bhardwaj, Project Director, ESIP, spoke on this ambitious assignment of evaluating the working of Van Vigyan Kendras (VVKs) under ESIP. He said that ICFRE had engaged NABCONS Pvt Ltd as a consultant for evaluating working of Van Vigyan Kendras established in different states in fulfilling the objectives of forestry extension services to enable technologies from lab to land and make practical suggestions to improve their working and effectiveness.
In the technical session, Ajai Rai, NABARD Consultancy Services, delivered a detailed presentation on the Draft Final Report pertaining to status of existing VVKs, their strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities and threats associated with them. He also detailed the specific strategies, guidelines, plans, recommendations for strengthening and improving the functioning of VVKs, covering the funding, staffing, mode of functioning, and developing effective networking of VVKs with Krishi Vigyan Kendras, etc.
Dr Anupam Joshi, Senior Environmental Specialist, The World Bank, suggested involving Joint Forest Management Committees in the transfer of technology and extension activities carried out by the VVKs.
The workshop was attended by Deputy Director Generals, ICFRE, Directors of ICFRE institutes, ADGs of ICFRE, and DIG of Forest (GIM) – MoEF&CC, representatives of PCCFs & HOFFs of State Forest Departments, officers and scientists of ICAR and its Institutes, representative of NGOs and all the team members of Ecosystem Services Improvement Project, ICFRE.
A total of 59 participants attended the workshop in physical and online mode. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr RS Rawat, Project Manager, ESIP, ICFRE.