Forest Development Agency in Meghalaya

The Government of Meghalaya in the Forest and Environment Department notified constitution of Forest Devlopment Agency vide No.FOR.62/2000/239, dated 9.9.03. A Forest Development Agency may be constituted at the Division level in Territorial, Wildlife, Social Forestry or any other convenient Forest Division.

The Forest Development Agency is a decentralized institutional structure which would allow greater participation of the community both in planning and implementation of an appropriate afforestation programme. This would ground the people-centred approach in afforestation programme and provide a firm and sustainable mechanism for devolution of funds to Joint Forest Management Committee for afforestation and related activities. Organic unity in this structural framework will promote efficiency, effectiveness, accountability through decentralisation and devolution of authority and responsibilities both physical and financial. Village will be reckoned as a unit of planning and implementation and all the activities under the scheme will be conceptualized at the village level. The 2-tier approach apart from building capabilities at the grass root level would also empower the local people to participate in the decision making process.

The Forest Development Agency consists of General Body and Executive Body. The General Body will be formed with the members appointed by the Government drawn from Forest and Environment Department, District Council, Chairman of Joint Forest Management Committee, District level officers of other Departments of the Government. The Executive Body will comprise of members drawn from Forest & Environment Department, District Council, Joint Forest Management Committee, representative of clan/community owning the land to be utilized for the project, District level officers of other Departments and Project Director District Rural Development Agency.

The General Body shall meet within two months from the end of last financial year after 14 days notice. The Executive Body may convene n extraordinary General Body meeting if necessary after 7 days notice along with an agenda. The Executive Body shall meet at least once in 3 months after 7 days notice. An emergency meeting may be convened if necessary after giving 24 hours notice.

The functions of the Forest Development Agency include approval of plan and micro plan, budget, formulation of innovative schemes, improvise technological improvement, organisation of training and awareness, entry point activities, utilization of funds, coordination with other Government Departments, support and assistance to Joint Forest Management Committee, disaster management, seedling nursery, usufruct sharing etc.

The Forest Development Agency may take up such activities as to perform the functions, which include - implementation of Centrally sponsored or Central sector schemes, monitoring of scheme implementation, inventory of land and natural resources, value addition and marketing of produce, socio-economic beneficial schemes, environmental education, forest protection with people's participation, management of common property resources, soil and water conservation, beneficiary oriented activities like agro-forestry/avenue plantation, etc.

The Range level coordinators will act as subordinate disburser of funds to the Joint Forest Management Committee. He will submit monthly accounts of the Joint Forest Management Committees functioning under this Range jurisdiction. He will also supervise works and ensure compliance to guidelines or statutory requirement.

Initially, the Government of Meghalaya constituted 7 Forest Development Agencies in each Social Forestry Division covering all the 7 districts of the State. The Forest Development Agencies have been registered as a Society under the Meghalaya Societies Registration Act, 1983 and have started functioning.

List of F.D.As with their date of registration
Name of the F.D.A. Date of Registration
Jaintia Hills Social Forestry Division F.D.A. 5th March 2004
East Khasi Hills Social Forestry Division F.D.A. 13th January 2004
West Khasi Hills Social Forestry Division F.D.A. 22nd January 2004
Ri-Bhoi Social Forestry Division F.D.A. 1st March 2004
East Garo Hills Social Forestry Division F.D.A. 3rd December 2003
West Garo Hills Social Forestry Division F.D.A. 20th December 2003
South Garo Hills Social Forestry Division F.D.A. 18th November 2003

Sanction of N.A.P. for the F.D.As

The State Level Steering Committee approved the proposal submitted by the seven F.D.As on 30th March 2004 for implementation of N.A.P. schemes during the 10th plan period. The N.A.E.B. approved the schemes formulated by the FDAs and communicated financial sanction as follows:-

Serial Number F.D.A. Approved
Project Cost
(Rupees in lakhs)
at Rs 70
Release of 1st
installment
(Rupees in lakhs)
on 14.6.04
Release of 2nd
installment
(Rupees in lakhs)
1 Jaintia Hills S F D -F D A 112.2
145.51
30 60 on 15.6.05
2 East Khasi Hills S F D -F D A 126.88
164.77
35 70 on 27.6.05
3 West Khasi Hills S F D -F D A 142.72
185.95
38 80 on 15.6.05
4 Ri-Bhoi S F D -F D A 144.73
187.21
39 84 on 15.6.05
5 East Garo Hills S F D -F D A 126.95
164.88
34 70 on 27.6.05
6 West Garo Hills S F D -F D A 148.36
192.33
38 84 on 27.6.05
7 South Garo Hills S F D -F D A 123.20
159.64
31 70 on 15.6.05