Thursday, 12 April 2018 | PNS | Dehradun– The technical assistance being provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will help in mitigating land loss in Uttarakhand. Effective implementation of the JICA projects will also help in conservation of forests and improving the quality of soil by enhancing its mineral content, said Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the 10th Annual JICA national workshop in Mussoorie on Wednesday. Addressing the representatives of 13 states and officials of the Government of India, Rawat emphasised on the importance of the workshop and training towards facilitating the conservation and improvement of forests. The experiences and knowledge shared in such workshops help in achieving departmental progress while also assisting in managing forest activities in conserving the forests. The Chief Minister said that there are about 11,000 Van Panchayats in the State with financial assistance being provided to them also through JICA. Due to the geological features of the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand the problem of land loss is experienced more in the State. The technical assistance being provided by JICA will help in tackling this problem, he said. Rawat went on to stress on the need for enhancing awareness and public participation for effectively tackling the problem of forest fires. A sense of belonging and responsibility towards forests will have to be cultivated among the school students. Just like children are taugh civic sense, the sense of responsibility towards the jungles will also have to be instilled in them during their school life. The forest department officers should also visit schools and talk about the importance and conservation of forests with the children, said the chief minister. The State Forest and Wildlife Minister Harak Singh Rawat said that the villagers have an important role in the conservation of forests in Uttarakhand. An attachment to forests is part of the culture of Uttarakhand, he added. MLAs Ganesh Joshi, Munna Singh Chauhan, additional chief secretary Ranbir Singh, director general of forests Sidhant Das and JICA representatives were also present on the occasion.