Forest Minister Awangbow Newmai launches COSFOM website

IMPHAL, Jan 8: Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Awangbow Newmai today launched the website for Community-based Sustainable Forest Management for Water Resource Conservation in Manipur (COSFOM) at the main conference hall, Forest Headquarters, Sanjenthong.
COSFOM is a component under the Indo-German Programme ‘Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalaya’ with a focus on sustainable community forestry, soil and water conservation. This is a project of the Government of India supported by the Federal Government of Germany through KfW, a German development bank in Frankfurt with Manipur Forest Department as the executing agency and managed by the Community Forestry and Water Conservation Society-Manipur (CF & WCS).
The project combines a community-based and watershed approach to improve and conserve water resources. It aims at improving or restoring climate resilience of upper watershed ecosystems and the adaptive capacity of forest dependent communities through sustainable forest management, close-to-nature stream management, spring shed development and biodiversity conservation. At the same time, it seeks to strengthen sustainable livelihood strategies, income generation opportunities and peace & conflict assessment. Every transaction and activities have to be done with the approval/consent of the community.
Speaking as the chief guest of the function, Minister Awangbow Newmai congratulated the entire team and hoped that the website will facilitate the project. He requested the officers concerned with the project to work tirelessly as it will provide help to many people. Although the project is in the initial stage covering only two districts (Ukhrul and Kangpokpi divisions), he expressed belief that the project will cover all the districts in the near future.
Kereilhouvi Angami, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Head of Forest Force (PCCF and HoFF) and the Vice Chairman of the COSFOM said that it is for the first time that the Government of Manipur under the Forest Department is implementing a forestry based project which is funded by external sources. Stating that the implementation process of the project took almost 4 years, however the department was persistent and consistent in pursuance of the project trying to fulfill all the needs and conditions put in by the funding agency.
Hopeful that the working system in the Forest Department particularly in the field level will improve, he said that it is a new system where monetary and inspection/supervision of the work will be more strict and innovative. Informing that the work has started in the areas covering two divisions, he said that the response from the villagers, supervision and participation of the staffs led by two District Forest Officers have encouraged the department as the work is on the right track.
Further he said that the department is working on to identify the strengths in order to work upon it more and at the same time identify the challenges, weakness, constraints to address it in a better way.
The function was also attended by MH Khan, Additional Chief Secretary, Chairman Community Forestry & Water Conservation Society-Manipur (CF&WCS-M); officers and staffs of the Forest Department including Lamkhosei Baite, PCCF, Project Director, CF&WCS-M; Aditya Joshi, PCCF & Chief Wildlife Warden; N Sonzalian, Additional PD, (CF&WCS-M); Konthoujam Hrishikesh Singh, Assistant Chief Technical Advisor, GFA Consulting Group among others.