Government of Andhra Pradesh
Ref. No. 4483/2002/PMU-III/3.
Office of the Principal Chief Conservator
of Forests - Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad.
SRI S.K. DAS, I.F.S.,
PRINCIPAL CHIEF CONSERVATOR
CIRCULAR No. 6/2003/PMU.III/2.
APFD – Empowerment to VSSs – strengthening of
grass root level functioning in APFD – Certain Guidelines – Issued
Of late there has been a significant increase in workload of the
Forest Department specially with respect to the implementation
of the programme of Joint / Community Forest Management, Neeru
Meeru, Clean and Green etc. This is more so because of the workload
for documentation and reporting. On the other hand, there has
been a steady decline in number of staff at various leaves mainly
due to retirement without any corresponding recruitment. This
call for evolving a new strategy to strengthen the grass root
level functioning of the Forest Department with a view to achieving
the task easily and empowering the SHG (VSS & EDC) adequately.
The Forest department has been implementing the initiative of
participatory forest management since 1993. Till 2002 this has
been implemented through joint Forest Management after which the
programme has been upgraded as community Forest Management. Village
level institution like Vana Samrakshana Samithies and Eco Development
Committees are actively participating in protection, regeneration
and general management of the forests allotted to them. So far
we have constituted 7090 such committees and their duties and
responsibilities have been detailed in Government orders covering
their constitution and functioning. These committees have been
functioning as the visible arms of the forest department and assisting
the lower level functionaries of the forest department in discharging
their duties and responsibilities more successfully. It is in
fitness of things that the institutions of VSS and EDC and the
human resources available in these institutions are properly utilized
to supplement the efforts of the forest staff especially at grass
root level in order to achieve the smooth and successful implementation
of different forestry schemes / projects.
careful examination of the entire issue in details, the following
guidelines are issued to all the field level functionaries:-
Though VSS is a cohesive group of families living near the forests,
a core group of 15 to 20 young and enthusiastic members within
the group should be identified and trained in various aspects
of forest management as detailed below so that they can act as
a catalyst for forming a strong work force for implementation
and monitoring of forestry works as per the approved Micro Plan.
Members belonging to BPL families may be preferred while giving
due importance to gender issues. These core group members within
each VSS will be trained in forest management, financial management
and social development issues in order to upgrade their skill
for better livelihood opportunity.
The role of the forest department functionaries will be identify
the core group members and trained them in the above aspects,
guide them and monitor their functioning. The entire exercise
of identification of these core groups and their trainings must
be accomplished and internalized within the shortest possible
time. The benefit from the above arrangement will be huge which
may be elaborated by a few examples as noted below: -
– I: As per the Circular No. 5 & 5-A on Water Harvesting
Structures inside the forest area, percolation tanks of different
sizes mini, medium and big are to be erected on different order
streams – 1st order, 2nd order etc., The
forest staff are supposed to select the points where the PTs are
to be erected and demonstrated with full justification as to why
a particular point on the stream is selected for erection of a
Percolation Tank to the members of the core group. Our staff should
demonstrate also as to how to erect a mini, medium and big percolation
tanks explaining clearly the steps involved like key trench, scuffling
of soil in the bed of the key trench, excavation of soil from
the fore shore areas for putting in the key trench, consolidation
of soil layer by layer, formation of water passage (by-wash) etc.
– II: In the VSS areas are planting programme is a common
item. Our staff will be raising the nursery, doing the alignment
and stacking, digging of pits and planting of seedlings and maintenance.
All these steps may be explained and demonstrated to the members
of the core group, so that after some time the members of the
core group can carry out this type of work with a minimum supervision
and guidance from the Forester / Range Officer.
It may be necessary that required number of planting stock may
be shifted to the VSS village before planting season from the
Central Nursery under the care of one of the core group members
for maintenance, who may be paid the approved maintenance charges.
these activities are necessary not only for empowerment of the
members of the VSS but also to built up the forward linkages for
additional income to these members of the group by up-graduation
of their skill.
It is observed that the functioning of the Forest Beat Officer
and Asst. Forest Beat Officers are not integrated so far with
the functioning of the outer forest staff of higher level with
respect to implementation of JFM/CFM programme which is not only
most regrettable but also affecting adversely the implementation
of the Project and its outcome.
the Forest Beat Officers and Assistant Beat Officer should be
fully integrated into this system and they should be involved
in identification of these groups within each VSS in their territory
and in training and monitoring of their functioning:
Training programmes will be organized at A P Forest Academy, Dullapalli,
Regional Research Centres Hyderabad, Tirupati, Warangal and Rajahmundry,
designated training centers in each forest division and in each
Director A P Forest Academy, in consultation with the Chief Conservator
of Forests (T&E) will develop suitable course curricula and
training modules and training material which will be finally approved
by this office.
if forest management: Training will be organized for the identified
groups in actual field operations like SMC works, Block plantations,
Avenues plantations etc. to be taken up in accordance with various
circular instructions issued by this office.
in financial management: A separate financial management manual
has to be prepared for use by the VSS. This specifies the book
keeping activities, registers etc. to be maintained in each VSS.
Training has to be imparted to 4 to 5 selected literate members
in each VSS on financial management and book keeping activities
required to be undertaken at the level of VSSs.
in social development: Training under this theme include training
in conflict resolution, gender issues, issues of other vulnerable
groups, social safeguards needed under the Project, leadership
development, communication skills, health, family welfare etc.
these trainings will ensure leadership development and better
communication skills for the VSS members.
goes without saying that a suitable member of a VSS may undergo
training in more than one or all the subjects.
subject is of utmost importance and therefore Conservators of
Forests and the Divisional Forest Officers are requested to follow
these instructions in toto.
Sd/- S. K. DAS,
CHIEF CONSERVATOR OF FORESTS
All the Conservators of Forests, Territorial,
WLM Circle, Tirupati, R&D Hyderabad.
All the Divisional Forest Officers of
The Conservator of Forests & Field
Director, Project Tiger, Srisailam.
The Conservator of Forests and Director
A P Forest Academy Dullapalli.
Copy to all the Additional Prl. Chief
Conservator of Forests and Chief Conservator of Forests for information.
Copy to the Superintendent Z / SF