Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel praised the Narwa Development Scheme and various other initiatives of State Forest and Climate Change Department for their positive impact on fostering harmony and brotherhood between tribal communities and the Forest Department staff. CM made these remarks during the inaugural programme of a 3-day national-level consultative workshop held at Mayfair Lake Resort in Nava Raipur. Baghel revealed that within the span of four years under his government, 1.19 crore Narwa structures had been constructed in Chhattisgarh, significantly transforming the lives of forest dwellers by providing them with livelihood opportunities. He emphasised that the Narwa scheme was widely recognised by tribal communities as the best programme implemented by the Congress government. The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction with the improved relationship between forest villagers and forest guards, highlighting the peaceful and friendly coexistence they now enjoy. He acknowledged that previously, tribal communities faced difficulties in sustaining their livelihoods as they relied on gathering wood from the forests for domestic fuel and other needs.
However, with the introduction of the NGGB scheme, a positive change has occurred in Chhattisgarh. Baghel stressed the importance of planting beneficial trees in forest areas, particularly fruit trees, to enhance the income of forest dwellers, preserve greenery, and protect the forests. He mentioned the establishment of a mechanism, called C-Mart, by the Chhattisgarh government, which facilitates the sale of forest produce. The Chief Minister highlighted the dual role of the Forest Department as not only the protector of forests but also the guardian of people residing in forest areas. Forest and Climate Change Minister Mohammad Akbar commended the excellent work carried out by the State Forest Department, particularly in utilizing the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) fund effectively.
Chandra Prakash Goyal, the Director General and Special Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, praised Chhattisgarh’s scientific approach to soil and water conservation efforts. The objectives of the workshop included sharing best practices for soil and moisture conservation, discussing the application of technologies like remote sensing and GIS for forest resource planning and management, exploring the role of minor forest produce in livelihood generation, promoting agro-forestry and tree planting outside forest areas, and creating market linkages through the Chhattisgarh Mukhyamantri Vriksh Sampada Yojana. The event also aimed to facilitate the adoption of the Mission for Lifestyle for Environment proposed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and to share experiences of forestry best practices from different states in the country. The workshop was attended by forest officials from 17 states, two Union Territories, and four institutes. Various activities took place during the event, including the launch of a field manual and exhibition on Soil and Moisture Conservation for the Rejuvenation of Streams (Narwa Vikas Yojana), the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between IIFM Bhopal and the Department of Forest and Climate Change, Government of Chhattisgarh, and the screening of a documentary film on soil and moisture conservation and Minor Forest Produce in Chhattisgarh. Technical sessions featuring the sharing of best practices from all states are scheduled for the following day. Additionally, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), CAMPA CEOs, and field officials will visit soil and moisture conservation sites in the Dhamtari forest division. The workshop is jointly organised by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, and the Department of Forest and Climate Change, Government of Chhattisgarh.