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State Forest Development Agency (SFDA) - Sikkim


National Afforestation Programme (NAP) is a major forestry scheme of the Government of India in which afforestation and related activities are intended to be implemented through public participation having joint forest management and eco-development committees. This scheme is being implemented by the National Afforestation and Eco Development Board (NAEB), Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. This is a 100% centrally sponsored scheme (CSS) and started in the 10th Five Year Plan with a two-tier institutional structure i.e. Forest Development Agency (FDA) and Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) or Eco-Development Committee (EDC). The village is reckoned as a unit of planning and implementation and all activities under the programme are conceptualized at the village level. This decentralized two-tier institutional structure allowed greater participation of the community, both in planning and implementation, to improve forests and livelihoods of the people living in and around forest areas. The two-tier approach, apart from building capacities at the grassroot level, significantly empowered the local people to participate in the decision making process.

This approach has further been decentralized in 2009 when the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Govt of India issued Revised Operational Guidelines for NAP and further involved the State Forest Departments by forming a third tier i.e. State Forest Development Agency which is federation of all FDAs of the state and act as an umbrella agency .


The main objectives of this project are:

  • Sustainable development and management of forest resources.
  • Increase and/ or improve Forest and Tree Cover (FTC) through afforestation schemes
  • Rehabilitation of degraded forests and other areas by institutionalizing decentralized/participatory forest management
  • Encourage eco-tourism, promote nature education, conservation awareness
  • Ensure active participation of the fringe population in management and development of the sanctuaries
  • Restore the watershed capability of the catchment areas.
  • Provide sustainable and assured employment to the tribal and other weaker sections
  • Create durable community assets
  • To involve the village community in the execution of the schemes and make the exercise fully participatory and transparent

Organizational Structure

The project is implemented in the state through a three-tier system having:

Each of the above is a registered body having separate account in any nationalized bank. Each of the above will have two bodies namely general body and executive body

Joint Forest Management Committee / Eco-Development Committee (JFMC/EDC)

A JFMC/EDC is the implementing agency at the village level. A JFMC is formed for a village or a cluster of villages situated adjacent to Reserved Forests (RF) and is registered with the concerned Territorial Divisional Forest Office. Likewise an EDC is formed for a village or a cluster of villages situated adjacent to National Park or Wildlife Sanctuaries and is registered with the respective Wildlife Divisional Forest Office. The composition and functions of the JFMCs /EDCs would be as follows:

General Body

  • President of JFMC/EDC who will chair the general body meetings. He/she will be elected for two years by consensus/majority vote. It will be ensured that a woman member is elected as President at least for alternative terms.
  • All adult villagers, subject to their willingness, are members of the general body.
  • Concerned Block Officer (BO) or Range Officer (RO) is the ex-officio member of the General Body.

Executive Body

  • President of JFMC/EDC who will chair the general body meetings. He/she will be elected for two years by consensus/majority vote.
  • Concerned Block Officer (BO) or Range Officer (RO) is the Member Secretary of the Executive Body.
  • Six of the General Body members (out of which three shall be women) who will be elected by a majority of General Body.
  • A treasurer shall be appointed by the Member Secretary in consultation with the President from among the Executive Body members.
  • At least one member from the forest-based artisan community, and if no such community is residing in the village, then a representative of the socially most marginal community shall be a member.
  • There will be two ex-officio Members who will be nominated by the Member Secretary from the Panchayat of the area in which JFMC falls. One of member will be a woman.

Each JFMC/EDC shall have a separate account in a Nationalised Bank or a Cooperative Bank or a Post Office, which would be jointly operated by the President and the Member Secretary. Besides this, each JFMC or EDC will have a Village Development Fund (VDF).

Functions of JFMCs/ EDCs –

  • To execute the Annual Programme as per the microplan
  • To assist in:
    • Preparation of microplans
    • Choice of species to be planted
    • Suggesting physical and financial targets
    • To propose entry point activities
    • Awareness programmes and usufruct sharing mechanisms
    • Fund Creation Activities

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Forest Development Agency (FDA)

FDAs can be formed only in Territorial and Wildlife Divisions as per the Government of India norms. In Sikkim there are 9 FDAs for 4 Territorial Divisions and 5 Wildlife Divisions including one for KNP. All of them are registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Each FDA is a federation of all JFMCs/ EDCs registered in that forest division. The model structure of a FDA is as follows:

General Body

  • Conservator of Forests (Territorial) is the Chairperson for all four Territorial FDAs. Similarly Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) is the Chairperson for all five Wildlife FDAs.
  • Concerned DFO is the Member Secretary-cum-Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
  • Besides the Chairperson and the Member Secretary following are also the members of General Body of a FDA:
    • Presidents of all JFMCs/EDCs under that FDA.
    • Three non-official representatives to be nominated by the Zilla Panchayat
    • All Range Officers and ACFs of the concerned division

The General Body will meet at least once in a year. A person who has served on the General Body would be eligible for re-nomination after two years of the expiry of his previous tenure.

Executive Body

  • CF (T) or CF (WL) is the Chairperson of concerned FDA
  • Concerned DFO is the Member Secretary-cum-Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Ex-officio Members (without voting rights) –
    • District Development Officer
    • District level Officers of Agriculture, Rural Development, Animal Husbandry, Soil Conservation, Industries, Public Health & Engineering, Welfare, Horticulture, Minor Irrigation, Small Scale Industries/ KVIC, Education Departments
    • Lead Bank Officer
    • ADC to be nominated by DC
  • Three non-official representatives to be nominated by the Zilla Panchayat
  • Fifteen nominees from the JFMCs (minimum 7 are to be women)

The Executive Body will meet at least once in three months. A member who does not attend three consecutive meetings of the Executive Body shall be disqualified from the Executive Body. Executive Body of the FDA will co-opt the experts (without voting rights) in such disciplines as are not represented to advice on the preparation of microplans and for implementing specific components of the projects.

Roles and responsibilities of FDAs

  • Help and supervise JFMCs/EDCs in microplan preparation and approve the microplans
  • Coordinate and monitor the activities of the JFMCs/EDCs
  • Organise training and awareness generation programmes on:
    • Afforestation, protection, management and sustainable harvest of the forests
    • Value addition, processing and marketing of the produce in particular in close liaison with both landowning and development departments/ organisations in the public and private sector
    • Environmental education
  • Coordinate with other agencies/ government departments to ensure forestry as well as non-forestry village development and livelihoods improvement activities
  • Coordinate with other relevant government departments to dovetail their schemes and programmes with afforestation schemes for holistic development of watersheds
  • Take steps for sustainable harvest, value-addition and marketing of the products from JFMC/EDC areas, including establishment of forest-based enterprise, and promote formation of Self-Help Groups for this purpose
  • Promote technological innovations
  • Inventorisation of land and other natural resources
  • Deal with contingencies such as drought, flood, epidemic and forest fires

Note: FDAs will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the JFMCs/ EDCs implementing the Scheme indicating mutual obligations, rights and roles. The MoU should, essentially, include the right of FDAs to stop and withdraw funding from a JFMC/ EDC if their performance is found to be unsatisfactory, along with the procedure to be adopted in such cases. The FDAs, in turn, would also sign a similar MoU with the SFDA.

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State Forest Development Agency (SFDA)

SFDA is the Federation of all FDAs of the state and act as an umbrella agency. It is also a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. There shall be only one SFDA for a state with a General Body and an Executive Body having following indicative structure.

General Body

  • Principal Chief Conservator of Forests ( PCCF) is the Chairperson of SFDA
  • CCF (T) and Nodal Officer for NAP is the Member Secretary
  • Chairpersons and CEOs of Centrally Sponsored Afforestation schemes are the members.

General Body will meet at least once a year.

Executive Body

  • Principal Chief Conservator of Forests ( PCCF) is the Chairperson of SFDA
  • CCF (T) and Nodal Officer for NAP is the Member Secretary
  • Officers not below the rank of CCF dealing with Development and Social Forestry and Protection to be nominated by the Chairperson
  • Director of Panchayati Raj and Tribal Welfare Departments
  • Representatives of Land Revenue and Rural Management and Development Departments
  • Chairpersons of 2 FDAs and CEOs of 2 FDAs or any other scheme being implemented through SFDA to be nominated by Chairperson on rotational basis for a period of two years

The Executive Body can co-opt other Members as and when necessary. It will meet as often as necessary as but not less than twice a year.

Roles and responsibilities of SFDA

  • May undertake all activities including policy support, programmes and projects that are required for regeneration, development and/or management of forests and adjoining areas and allied activities with people’s participation, including implementation of Centrally-Sponsored/Central Sector Forestry Schemes
  • May undertake forestry and allied activities entrusted to it by the State Government or its agencies
  • May formulate and implement forestry and allied projects with assistance from Central Government, State Government, financial institutions recognized by Government, and bi-lateral and multilateral funding agencies
  • May also undertake such activities, which promote development of forest-dependent or forest fringe village populations
  • Exercise all powers including prioritization, amendment, reformulation, approval, guidance, monitoring and evaluation etc. for the purpose of achieving the objectives of the schemes being implemented by the SFDA and for this purpose it may either undertake these works itself or issue directions or guidelines
  • Will give due priority to the restoration of eco-fragile areas

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Physical & Financial Targets


Contact Us

Dr. Thomas Chandy, IFS
PCCF-cum- Principal Secretary & Chairperson (SFDA- Sikkim)
Forests, Environment & Wildlife Management Department
Government of Sikkim
Deorali, Gangtok - 737102
Tel(O): 03592-281261
Fax: 03592-281778

Shri. C. S. Rao, IFS
CCF(T/ HQ) & Member Secretary (SFDA-Sikkim)
Forest, Environment & Wildlife Management Department
Government of Sikkim
Deorali, Gangtok - 737102
Tel(O): 03592-280572
Mob: +91 94340-13001

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