ISB, Jharkhand to join handsfor developing forest economy

Aim to pilot the approach in Gumla district

The Indian School of Business (ISB) on Wednesday said it will be collaborating with the Jharkhand government to develop forest economy.

Towards this, the Department of Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste, Minority and Backward Class Welfare along the Department of Forests of Jharkhand signed an MoU with ISB’s Bharti Institute of Public Policy to develop scalable and sustainable solutions focusing on forest-based industrial value chains. The MoU was signed by Welfare Commissioner of Jharkhand Naman Priyesh Lakra and the institute’s executive director Ashwini Chhatre in the presence of Governor Ramesh Bais and Chief Minister Hemant Soren.

“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,” said Mr.Chhatre.

The Chief Minister in January 2020, less than a month after assuming office, had approached ISB to propose a cluster-based strategy for the development of the State’s forest economy. Consequently, a team of researchers from ISB had proposed an institutional design to facilitate sustainable forest management, value addition and industrial procurement of seasonal forest products.

The ISB team plans to pilot this approach in Gumla district, before expanding to other districts with promising forest products. 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, which is the nodal agency for the National Rural Livelihoods Mission in Jharkhand, for supporting this vision through women’s self-help groups.

At the heart of the initiative would be partnership between local communities, as custodians of forest resources, industry leaders using the products of that forest, and government agencies facilitating and regulating the creation of jobs and wealth, ISB said.

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