Pradesh state government is going to get $108.2-million assistance
from the World Bank. The credit, approved by the international
financial organisation, is aimed at supporting a project that
helps poor people living in and around the forests of Andhra
projects objective is to help communities improve their
livelihoods through direct management of the forests. It
strengthens the legal framework governing community rights to
timber and other forest products.
The project will be
implemented in 14 of the poorest districts of Andhra Pradesh, and
will cover 3.86 million hectares of forestland. It follows the
first AP Forestry Project (1994-2000) which was successful in
bringing 0.85 million hectares of forests under the joint
management of the state forest department and forest communities.
This second project
brings a greater emphasis to the role of the communities: building
on the lessons of the joint management in the first project, the
new design goes further yet with communities themselves assuming
primary responsibility for managing local forests, while the state
forest department will be the facilitator, providing technical
advice and regulatory oversight.
The 14 districts to be
covered in this new project are Adilabad, Nizamabad, Mahbubnagar,
Medak, Khammam, Warangal, Karimnagar, East Godavari, Visakhapatnam,
Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Chittoor, Cuddapah and Nellore.
The Andhra Pradesh
Community Forest Management Project is designed to reduce rural
poverty by placing forest areas under the management of poor and
primarily tribal forest-dependent communities. Their participation
in looking after the forest, and in having secure legal access to
its resources, is expected to improve forest management practices.
"There are champions
of change in both the state government and in the communities. We
deeply respect their efforts as they have an uphill battle working
in a very challenging environment. We do hope that the success of
the AP project will set a standard to be pursued across
India," says World Bank sector director for rural development
total project costs are $127.1 million, of which $108.2 million is
financed by International Development Association (IDA), the
interest-free lending arm of the World Bank. IDA credits carry a
0.75-per cent service fee and a maturity of 35 years with a
10-year grace period.