This project started in 2006 aims at participation of local communities in enhancing the forest cover. OUTREACH is continuing its collaboration with the Karnataka Forest Department under Karnataka Sustainable Forest Management and Bio-Diversity Conservation (KSFMBCP) project. During the year, OUTREACH has been assigned one additional district, Dharwad with staff support. Thus, the total number of divisions with OUTREACH has now risen to 8 with 422 VFCs, 51 Eco Development Committees and 2165 SHGs.

The project is headed by a Co-ordinator supported by one Asst.Co-ordinator and 25 Facilitators. The strategy is to create, organic linkages between people and forest alongside to support their livelihood without compromising on the conservation principles but enabling people’s participation by allowing them to access forest resources. The Income Generating Activities (IGP) consist of collection and processing of minor forest product (MFP), bamboo basket making, sheep rearing, opening petty shots/ business etc., and formation of women VSS (Vana Samrakshane Samithi) networks.

For sustenance of VFCs, top priority is given for the convergence with other institutions and NABARD has come forward to provide institutional support. While the main focus is on increasing forest cover, poverty alleviation through skill training and supporting IGP activities for enhancing family income are now taken as a part of the impact assessment. While the overall assessment will be done by an outside agency, NGOs have been asked to carry out SWOT analysis in each of the VFCs, at this final stage of the project activity.
OUTREACH was selected for `Karnataka State Environment Award’ for the year 2009-10 for promoting the cause of Environment Conservation and Management by the Karnataka Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment. Another recognition for the good work done is through the best stall award at the 2010 Krishimela organized by UAS, Bangalore