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| Last Updated:17/03/2020

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Germany to fund climate proofing project for HP

A climate proofing project will be soon implemented in the state with the assistance of German state agencies to address the concerns arising due to increasing climate variability by giving a boost to core forestry activities.

The main focus will be on rejuvenation of the ever-depleting natural water resources by making watersheds resilient to current and future climatic changes through forestry activities and building adaptive capacities of local communities, besides improving livelihoods.

The approach will be watershed based such as the Mid-Himalayan Watershed Development Project, but the focus will be on improving the eco-system by adopting best silvicultural practices for management over the entire basin.

The five-year project will be implemented with the technical and financial assistance of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and German government-owned development bank (KfW).

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests RK Gupta said the Forest Department was preparing a detailed project proposal which was to be submitted to the two agencies before March 31.

As depleting water sources are a major concern in the hills, the emphasis will be on their conservation. The water sources will be mapped using the satellite system and monitored on a regular basis to ascertain the impact of interventions. The watersheds will be protected under the spring sanctuary programme for conservation and enhancement of natural water sources. The plan to develop Van Sarovars in the forest areas will be integrated into the project activities.

Besides conservation of soil and water, development of pastures, crop management, the focus will be on promoting natural regeneration along with afforestation to help enhance the growing carbon stocks.

Remote sensing tools will be used for long-term monitoring to evaluate the success of new plantations and if certain species showed a high mortality in a particular area, they will be classified as unsuitable for that area and replaced by a more suitable species. Silvicultural measures such as pruning of new forest plantations will be carried out to ensure proper growth and maximise the growing carbon stock, which serves as a sink for greenhouse gases.

Climate proofing

Identification of risks arising out of climate variability and change and ensuring that these are brought down to acceptable levels through environmentally sound, economically viable and socially acceptable interventions. In Himachal, climate change is having maximum impact on natural water sources and horticulture.

The Tribune (26-11-2013)