Compass organized an FLR study visit for VCF members at Khagrachari

Compass Chittagong Hill Tracts Forest Landscape Restoration (CHT-FLR) project arranged a study visit for 20 participants from four Village Common Forest (VCF) communities in Khagrachari, which was held during January 16-19, 2022.

The participants visited projects of the Arannayk Foundation namely, the VCF management of Komolchari and the forest landscape restoration project of Dighinala, Khagrachari. In addition, they visited the horticultural activities of the Hill Agricultural Research Station of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute in Khagrachari. In Komolchari, they had a meeting with the VCF management committee and other community members. They explained how they have brought a degraded VCF under the management system and improved ecosystem services over a period of 10 years. General Secretary of the Komolchari VCF Committee, Mr. Anupom Chakma, shared the management of the revolving loan fund (RLF) created through the support of the Arannayk Foundation and their monthly savings. He also said that the funds thus created are used for alternative income-generating activities which include mushroom cultivation, cattle, and poultry rearing, fish cultivation, vegetable gardening, grocery shopping, and easy bike (Tomtom). They have become able to improve their livelihood through these restoration activities. They have planted saplings of local trees within degraded areas of VCF and protected the VCF from any kind of harvesting except bamboo once a year following customary rituals.

The participants learned about mushroom cultivation, homestead gardening, and poultry rearing through this visit. They were very motivated by observing the forest restoration activities and learning about the potential employment opportunities by visiting the research station.