In Andhra Pradesh, local people living near forests are forming Vana Samrakshna Samithi (VSS), village organisations dedicated to forest restoration. In partnership with the state forestry department more than 5,000 VSS are working to restore more than 1.2 million hectares of degraded forests.
VSS share all of the non-timber forest products (grasses, fuel-wood, fruit, and medicines) amongst themselves, and receive all of the income from the harvest of timber and bamboo.
Half of this income is set aside for the future development and maintenance of the forest. In this way the long-term sustainability of the project is protected and government support is only required while the forest returns to a productive state.
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