Jharkhand teams up with ISB to develop forest economy

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Ranchi: The Government of Jharkhand has collaborated with the Indian School of Business for a unique initiative to empower the state’s forest economy. The Department of Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste, Minority and Backward Class Welfare along with the Department of Forests, Jharkhand, on Wednesday signed an MoU with the Bharti Institute of Public Policy at Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, to develop scalable and sustainable solutions focussing on forest-based industrial value chains.

“Our approach is to build and formalise linkages between major stakeholders in existing value chains for forest-based industrial raw material while creating incentives for sustainable forest management. We will facilitate institutional and technological capacity building of communities. This vision will contribute towards meeting India’s global commitments for sustainable development,” said Prof Ashwini Chhatre, Executive Director, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB, while formalizing the collaboration,

In January 2020, the Chief Minister, less than a month old in office, had approached ISB to propose a cluster-based strategy for the development of forest economy in the state.

The ISB team plans to pilot this approach in Gumla district, before expanding to other districts with promising forest products. For this, the researchers have prepared an action plan, starting with creating incentives for local communities by establishing Community Forest Resource rights under the Forest Rights Act.

The team is also working closely with Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (the nodal agency for the National Rural Livelihoods Mission in Jharkhand) in supporting this vision through women’s self-help groups (SHG).

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