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World Bank approves $23.5 mn biodiversity grant & loan for
19 May, 2011
The World Bank on Thursday approved a
USD 15.36 million credit and USD 8.14 million grant for a
project to conserve high-value forest areas while improving
the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in India.
The Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihood Improvement
Project will conserve biodiversity, while improving rural
livelihoods by applying culturally appropriate and tested
participatory approaches to support opportunities for
improving rural livelihoods, the Bank said in a statement.
"India is among the most diverse countries, with up to 47,000
species of plants and some 90,000 species of animal and the
country's biodiversity is fundamental to human well being,"
said Malcolm Jansen, World Bank Senior Environmental
Specialist and Project Leader.
"Millions are dependent locally on forests for their
subsistence and livelihood and 70 per cent of India's rural
population depends on fuel wood to meet domestic energy
needs," Jansen said.
Noting that India's rich biodiversity is threatened by
increased population pressures and over-utilisation of
resources along with development that is largely inconsistent
with conservation objectives, the Bank said these threats,
coupled with the country's high incidence of poverty, have
accelerated the speed of degradation.