Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme

An initiative of the Cabinet Division and the General Economics Division (GED), Bangladesh Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh

Poverty Reduction through Social Aforestation

“Social afforestation is management and protection of forests and afforestation on barren lands with the purpose of helping in the environmental, social and rural development.
It is a participatory approach for conservation of forests with their regeneration, proper management and profit-sharing after a particular period accrued from timber and wood.
The purposes of the programme are to protect forests through establishing the rights and access of people to forest resources, sharing the income generated from the project and improving rural ecology and economy.
It was launched in the late 90s with the support of some development partners. Many small and marginal farmers and rural poor people of Bangladesh have attained financial solvency from the social afforestation programme.
Since 1999 of 2012, The Department of Social Forestry (DSF) has harvested a total of 11.74 million cubic feet timber from  social afforestation.
The programme includes planting trees on government forests, homesteads, fallow and marginal lands, roadsides and railway tracks, riverbanks, newly emerged chars and khas lands, and on the premises of educational institutions.
Many of the newly created gardens on various vacant places like river embankment, railway land, char area and roadside land are now eye catching.
Experts think successful implementation of the social forestry programme always adds to the government’s poverty reduction effort along with facing the adverse impact of climate change in the drought-prone area.
Profitable afforestation activities have encouraged many people to plant saplings of wood, medicinal and fruit-bearing trees on homesteads, roadsides, office premises, forest areas, embankments, the premises of religious institutions and other places.
DSF has been executing various lucrative programmes in all the 31 upazilas of Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Natore and Naogaon districts to encourage the rural people to plant saplings and nursing of the plants.
Over 7,391 beneficiaries have, so far, received more than Tk 153.70 million as their shares from the forests developed. Besides, around 170,000 saplings have been distributed among the ultra-poor under the climate change trust fund. The group members, who have nurtured the planted saplings, receive 55 per cent share of the sale proceeds after 10 years of plantation. The rest 45 per cent have been distributed among other organisations and individuals    concerned.
The department has distributed around 140,000 saplings of wood, fruit-bearing and medicinal trees among various government institutions, private organisations and individuals during the last fiscal.
In addition to creating strip gardens on 1468 kilometre lands and char garden on 220 kilometre lands, 55,000 saplings have been planted on various campus and premises of educational institutions during the last three years of the social forestry project. The government has enacted Bangladesh Environment Court Act 2010, keeping provision for establishing environment courts and special magistrate courts in every district.”
Coverage (Geographic) & Beneficiary Number (male/female):
31 upazilas of Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Natore and Naogaon districts.

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