“Our wealth is in our forests”
Professor Ashwini Chhatre spoke to the media about the potential of Community Forest Resource rights to create jobs, protect the environment, and build a responsible and inclusive forest economy in Himachal Pradesh. Indian School of Business is collaborating with the government of Himachal Pradesh to implement this initiative in Chamba.
Prof. Ashwini Chhatre proposed a set of interventions to the government of Himachal Pradesh: First, job and wealth creation from Seasonal Forest Products (SFP) sustainably. Second, set up value addition and industrial processing at the local level through Self-Help Groups (SHGs) which are traceable, accountable, and visible in a formal economy. Third, adopt mechanization to increase productivity and reduce drudgery of the collectors of SFPs.
Prof. Chhatre opined that developing the forest economy requires a coordination mechanism at a high level. This will not only create jobs and wealth for the local communities but also for the government through taxes and royalty.