It is my pleasure to take you through the overarching goals and institutional thrust areas of Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (ICFRE). It is in brief only as more detailed information is presented on the website in relevant sections.
1. ICFRE is primarily engaged in forestry research, extension and education. As forest management in India relates largely to Government owned forest land and its users, our work has to cater to Forest Department and the communities who benefit from forest resources. With the efforts of this organization, various technologies have been developed for expanding the tree cover on forest and private lands in India. Besides, our concerns also encompass global issues and challenges like climate change, biodiversity, increasing human population, food and water security.
2. This Council was created in 1986 and was converted into an autonomous body in 1991 to address the emerging challenges in the forestry sector. ICFRE with its pan India presence caters to the forestry research needs of the country through its 9 research Institutes and 5 research Centres spread in different agro-ecological regions of the country. The Institutes of the ICFRE have contributed in evolving management technologies in India. One of its Institutes, Forest Research Institute is the oldest organization of forestry research in the tropical world.
3. The ICFRE is the leading organization in the country for advising the Government of India, the State Governments and other stakeholders like farmers, industries and academicians on matters relating to forestry research and technologies for meeting the new challenges in the field of forest conservation. Currently, ICFRE is in the process of revising National Forestry Research Plan (NFRP) through a wide consultative process with relevant stakeholders by organizing national and regional research conferences. In the present era of networking and sharing of knowledge, ICFRE has entered into MoUs for collaborative research and extension activities with various organizations like TERI, TIFAC and ZSI. MoUs with ICAR, BSI, KVS, NVS and many other universities are in offing.
4. The Council is also building the manpower capacity of industries through M.Sc. programmes on Forestry, Environment Management, Wood Science and Technology and Cellulose and Paper Technology at FRI Deemed to be University.
5. At International level ICFRE enjoys observer organization status with the UN bodies of UNFCCC, CBD and UNFCCD. The Council is actively involved in deliberations on climate change at the international arena. ICFRE has been organizing side events at COP meetings of UNFCCC and CBD. Experts from ICFRE also regularly participate in meetings of Conference of the Parties (COP) and Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC. ICFRE contributed in framing the modalities and procedures for CDM Afforestation/Reforestation Projects. ICFRE also contributed in REDD+ at the UNFCCC. At national level, ICFRE has developed National REDD+ Strategy for India and is in the process of preparing Safeguard Information System (SIS) for REDD+ in India.
6. In order to meet increasing demand of wood and timber, Council has been working on genetic improvement of important tree species. New varieties and clones of trees for farm forestry and agro-forestry have been developed by the scientists of the council which has helped augment farmers’ income. Technologies and protocols developed in the fields of silviculture, agro-forestry, biotechnology, tree improvement, wood technology, forest product and environmental management practices have been extended to user agencies through short and long term training programmes, workshops and awareness programmes.
7. The Council extends expertise in the form of consultancy to various clients. These include, to name a few, preparation of Environment Management Plans and Environment Impact Studies for hydropower plants, mining companies, water supply agencies etc. Technology has been developed for rehabilitation of degraded mine lands and mine overburdens. Expertise has also been extended to the municipalities for tree avenue maintenance and development of tree groves and avenues.
8. For countrywide improvement in forestry education, ICFRE has initiated accreditation of universities imparting forestry education with an objective of establishing a mechanism for maintenance of appropriate standards of teaching, research, examination and other academic activities that would help prepare the students to serve in the forestry sector and to seek employment opportunities both in Government as well as in private enterprises.
9. This Council, through its Institutes and Centres spread over India, is providing technical skills to forest dwellers and guiding them in enlarging their livelihood opportunities, through better use of forest resource base. Van Vigyan Kendras have been established in the states for extension of ICFRE technologies for the benefit of farmers and other stakeholders.
I hope the website provides you an overview of our activities. I would like the users to communicate their views to make the website more user friendly and effective.