Home Dehradun Symposium on International Cooperation for Resilient Landscapes begins at ICFRE

Symposium on International Cooperation for Resilient Landscapes begins at ICFRE

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By Our Staff Reporter

Dehradun, 29 Mar: A two day International Symposium on ‘International Cooperation for Resilient Landscapes’ is being jointly hosted by the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun, and International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) on 29-30 March at ICFRE. Altogether 225 participants comprising experts and scientists from the fields of forestry, agriculture, nature conservation, water resources management from  India, the USA, UK, Austria, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Nepal, China, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Malawi, China, and Sri Lanka are participating.

The event began today with the inaugural ceremony held at the ICFRE Auditorium. Subhash Chandra, CEO, CAMPA, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, was the Chief Guest. Dr John A Parrotta, Programme Leader, International Science Issues with the US Forest Service R&D Branch, represented IUFRO. RK Dogra, Director In charge, ICFRE-FRI, welcomed the dignitaries, special invitees, senior officers from different organisations, delegates from different countries, scientists and presented the genesis of the symposium.

Highlighting the harmful effects of development activities on environment and landscapes, Subhash Chandra spoke on the objectives of the ‘LIFE’ mission initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an environmentally conscious lifestyle.  He suggested various ways including cooperation among agriculture, forestry, horticulture, agro-forestry and nature conservation sectors, development of policies and strategies that ensure participation of different stakeholders such as governments, civil society, the private sector and local communities in an inclusive and transparent manner, and use of sustainable and climate-smart forestry and agriculture practices for building resilient landscapes. He also shared the ongoing efforts of the ministry under its various schemes such as CAMPA, the National Afforestation Programme, Green India Mission, and the Nagar Van scheme, etc.

Highlighting the significance of this symposium under the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,  Arun Singh Rawat, Director General, ICFRE, expressed the commitment of the ICFRE in working closely with the Ministry in execution of plans addressing forest degradation and problems affecting forests and landscapes. He shared important initiatives of the ICFRE like development of suitable restoration models with package of practices for restoration of coalmine overburdens, lime stone mines, sodic soils, degraded hills, waterlogged area and desert dune stabilisation in different parts of India, preparation of DPR for rejuvenation of 13 major rivers through forestry interventions, implementation of Green India Mission, Green Skill Development Programme of the Ministry, and preparation of Reclamation and Rehabilitation (R&R) Plan of 129 Iron and Manganese ore mines particularly in Bellary and Chitraguda districts of Karnataka. He specifically mentioned the ongoing efforts of the ICFRE Centre for excellence on Sustainable Land Management (CoE-SLM) to address land degradation issues. He also spoke about active collaboration of ICFRE with IUFRO in enhancing cooperation among countries in the BIMSTEC region for ecosystem restoration in natural resources management education and hosting this symposium as well.

Dr Parrotta talked about IUFRO, its objectives and programmes for long-term sustenance and human well-being. Describing the role of the forests and Tree Outside Forests in socio-economic and ecological context, he advocated inter-sectoral  cooperation and collaboration across the globe to collectively work on building resilient landscapes.

After the inaugural ceremony, participants went for an excursion tour to Mussoorie Hills and Rajaji National Park. In Mussoorie Hills, they visited Shorea robusta (Sal), Pinus roxburghii (Chir Pine) and Cedrus deodara (Deodar) forests and learnt about practices for eco-restoration of limestone mining areas and degraded sites on the hills. In   Rajaji National Park, they experienced the vegetation of several distinct zones and forest types and wildlife.

During the two days, landscape restoration issues, experiences on innovative approaches to landscape restoration; and intersectoral policy and planning coordination will be discussed. The session ended with the vote of thanks proposed by Dr Dinesh Kumar, organising secretary of the symposium. The session was conducted by Vijya Ratre.