Selection criteria for areas under OFSDP

The selection criteria of operational areas were based on:

Thus, the areas in different districts/forest divisions of the state, with higher rate of forest degradation were primarily selected for implementation of this project. The existing forest cover in Odisha, prior to implementation of the project was assessed to be 48,366 km2, out of which the forest cover over 20,196 km2 had a reported crown density of less than 40%. These degraded forest required treatment for regeneration and reforestation, as the degradation of forest in poor livelihood options to the forest dwellers in at their encouraged  the local people for more and more removal of forest produce in an unsustainable manner, leading further degradation of forest with the spread of poverty and unemployment. The project was, therefore, considered necessary for improving the living condition of the people residing in an around the forest by providing them livelihood options along with conservation of forest and its sustainable management. This was also consistent with the development policies of the State particularly in forest sector and in accordance with the National Forest Policy. Thus, conservation of forest resources and sustainable forest management in supporting livelihood of the people living in and around the forest, besides amelioration of environment, was well recognized while conceiving the OFSDP.
The poverty level of more than 67% was second criteria for selection of the operational areas. In actual terms, the percentage of BPL families living in identified project areas was enumerated more than 74% at the stage of commencement of this project. Similarly, the stipulated criteria of more than 22% Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Cast (SC) population set at the stage of implementation of OFSDP, was enumerated to be 69.7% (56.8% ST and 12.9% SC)in areas identified for OFSDP.