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USAID selects Sikkim for Forestry Project

Wednesday, 20 March 20130 comments

Nita Nirash 
Gangtok, March 20: The Himalayan state of Sikkim has been selected as one of the Indian State by the United States Agency International Development (USAID) to work on different aspects on forestry and eco system management.

The USAID and the union Ministry of Forests had signed a bilateral agreement in September 2010 to promote scientific and technical collaboration between India and the US in forest sector. “A team of USAID will visit Sikkim in a couple of days to hold a meeting with the state forest department officials to work out the modalities of the project. The project will begin in a couple of months,” said Jeffery K. Rideau, the director of US consulate General Kolkata.

USAID will work in close collaboration with the local government, local communities and the stakeholders to adapt the cutting edge innovations and practices in India, and build the capacity of local stake holders to better manage the forest resources.

“The students in Sikkim are well disciplined, focused and are inquisitive, it was a wonderful experience interacting with them” said Rideau while talking to reporters in the capital today. He informed that his visit was intended to communicate with the students, local media as well as the people working for the preservation of the art and culture and to his country’s policies.

“The fascinating work at the monastery is impressive; the preservation of the art in the monastery is another feature which shows that Sikkim is rich in heritage and culture” said the Director adding that the consulate will also work in the areas like women empowerment, leadership programmes, entrepreneurship development and others.

The Director visited Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Rumtek.  “The visit was very enlightening. The restoration work in Royal Chapel (Tsuglakhang) is impressive .The Khangchendzonga painted on a wall of Palace is something possibly done only in Sikkim,” he said.

The efforts of Directorate of Handicrafts & Handloom to involve communities especially women, so that they can make things at home and earn pocket money were also mentioned by him. They are already funding a project in NIT.

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