Washington: The World Bank on Thursday gave a nod to USD 15.36 million credit and USD 8.14 million aid for a project to protect forest areas while improving the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in India.

The Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihood Improvement Project will conserve biodiversity, while improving rural livelihoods by applying culturally appropriate and tested participatory approaches to support opportunities for improving rural livelihoods, the Bank said in a statement.

"India is among the most diverse countries, with up to 47,000 species of plants and some 90,000 species of animal and the country's biodiversity is fundamental to human well being," said Malcolm Jansen, World Bank Senior Environmental Specialist and Project Leader.

"Millions are dependent locally on forests for their subsistence and livelihood and 70 percent of India's rural population depends on fuel wood to meet domestic energy needs," Jansen said.

(Agencies)