Forest products’ fair in Tripura to promote natural resourcesFebruary 18th, 2009 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS
Agartala, Feb 18 (IANS) A national “van mela” is being organised in the northeastern state of Tripura to promote sustainable use of forest resources and diversified utility of non-timber forest products.
“The ‘van mela’ intends to provide an opportunity for interaction across various stakeholders on forest based livelihood and traditional knowledge on the use of forest and its products,” Tripura Forest Minister Jitendra Chowdhury told reporters here.
Besides all northeastern states, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are participating in the three-day fair, which was inaugurated Tuesday evening.
Various national forest forums, NGOs, self-help groups, industrialists and investors from Bangladesh are also attending the fair.
“Besides non-timber forest products, utilisation and emerging environmental aspects, the fair will highlight the contribution of forests in poverty alleviation and economic development of forest dwellers and rural people living in and around the forest,” said Chowdhury.
“The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had contributed Rs.3.11 billion to Tripura for aforestation and eco-restoration project for the benefit of tribal people and the ‘van mela’ is being organised as part of the project,” he added.
The government’s forest department began implementing the eight-year-long JICA project last year.
From wooden furniture and bamboo fabric to medicinal plants and decorative items, a wide variety of forest products are on display at the event.
“The ‘van mela’ is also a platform for traditional herbal healers to share their experiences and demonstrate their specialty in traditional treatment with medicinal plants,” said Prasenjit Biswas, a forest official.
Machineries and equipments linked to utilisation fo forest resources are also on display at the fair, during which seminars, buyer-seller interfaces and film shows on forest resources and biodiversity will be held.