ITC Social forestry project has been registered by UNFCCC

UNFCC has registered ITC'S social forestry Project titled as ' Reforestation of severely degraded landmass in Khammam District of Andhra Pradesh, India under ITC Social Forestry Project'

Bureau Veritas Certification performed a validation of the Reforestation of severely degraded landmass in Khammam District of Andhra Pradesh, India under ITC Social Forestry Project in India. The validation was performed on the basis of UNFCCC criteria and host country criteria and also on the criteria given to provide for consistent project operations, monitoring and reporting.

Project consists of raising Eucalyptus plantation at degraded lands owned by rural poor (tribal).  The Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division (PSPD), Unit: Bhadrachalam of ITC Limited has taken this initiative as the primary developer of this project and initiated the project activity through the local Non Governmental Organization (NGOs).  promoted by state government of Andhra Pradesh, India.

The project activity is spread across the following 14 Mandals of Khammam district consisting of 3070.19 Hectares. The key features of this project are -

Social drive embedded in the project design itself - This project is a known as 'social forestry' itself. By this, many tribals are assisted by ITC through financial assistance for land development, providing seeds, arranging logistics. The institutionalised mechanisms for the implementation of the project activity through 'Mandal Samyakhya (MS)' would be responsible for bringing about social well-being to the poor and marginalized farmers in the region. 

Involving techniques like remote sensing - Project Participant engaged NRSA ( National remote Sensing agency - NRSA), Ecology  Division, National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), Department of Space, Govt. of India, Hyderabad for assessment various aspects of land status as an important element of project.

Project boundary - The project activity is located in the tribal belt of the catchment area of river Godavari. The project area consists of geographic domain with more than one discrete area of land, within which GHG emissions or sinks and other attributes of the projects are to be estimated and monitored

Validation consisted a team of two validators ( Mr. K.H.Sharma, & Sameer Pendse ) and forest expert
( Mr. P.C.Aneil ) on validation team. Internal technical review (ITR) was performed by Mr. B.G. Bhat
& Dr. Ashok Mammen.

Validation consisted of site visits, interview with project Participants and also stakeholders. These stakeholders typically involved all the tribal people in the area of project activity. Stakeholders by and large expressed satisfaction on ITC's initiative of reforestation through their social forestry project.

This was quite unique experience for the entire validation team since project has specific features of carbon capture, social development aspects in mass in tribal region etc. Main challenge was relatively unknown field for validation and also various complexities involved in validation.

Similarly, unlike site visits of CDM projects like wind, biomass based cogeneration plants, these site visits were to remote locations in tribal areas and these were of longer duration,  and consisted more sampling.

Since BV did not have sectorial accreditation, project had to be submitted to Accreditation panel under witness. There were few queries raised by AP, which were answered satisfactorily. Project then was submitted to UNFCCC for registration. There were no queries raised and Project was registered.

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