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The biodiversity conservation and greening project for climate change response, with an outlay of ₹920.52 crore for a period of eight years, will begin this month.
On March 31, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department received a loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the implementation of the project.
The project aims to mitigate and adapt to climate change and improve the ecosystem thereby contributing to sustainable socio-economic development in Tamil Nadu, said Supriya Sahu, additional chief secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forests Department.
The focus will be on ecosystem-based climate change measures, human wildlife conflict measures, promoting supply chain development, livelihood improvement activities and capacity development of the management.
In this context, the department is looking to engage experts in the fields of biodiversity / ecosystem management (international), marine, climate change, tree cultivation in private land, community development and GIS/MIS experts. An expression of interest has been floated and the firm selected should provide all the seven consultancy services.
The total duration of the consultancy assignment will be 24 man-months for all the experts totaling 144 man-months. For the team leader with international experience, the assignment will be approximately 13 man-months.
JICA has implemented afforestation projects in Tamil Nadu since 1997. JICA conducted an impact study on the previous project in Tamil Nadu in 2021. The key takeaways attained through the study have been incorporated in the new project.
The new project is the first case where JICA specifies “climate change” in the project name with the consensus of Government of India and Japan. “The project will contribute to mitigation of climate change impact, with an estimated annual Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction of 243,054 t CO2 equivalent,” said SAITO Mitsunori, Chief Representative, JICA India, at the time of signing the agreement.
The major expected outcomes from the project by year 2032 include increase in Carbon storage by 4 lakh MT, restoration of 3.6 ha. of Coral reef area, restoration of 600 ha. of sea grass and 300 ha. of seaweed, increase of mangrove cover over an area of 1050 ha., 60,000 ha. increase in Trees Outside Forest (TOF) cover and capacity building for 5400 departmental staff among others.
The Expression of Interest has been floated and a shortlist of consultants would be ready by the second week of this month, said sources in the Forest department.