The Himachal Pradesh government has taken various initiatives to increase its green cover and ensure environmental conservation, including three forestry projects with the participation of local people, an official said on Sunday. The 'Samudayik Van Samvardhan Yojna' has been launched to ensure participation of locals in forestry activities, a government spokesperson told IANS. The plots in forest lands will be allotted to them for plantation of useful plant species. Similarly, under the 'Vidyarthi Van Mitra Yojna', forest lands will be allotted to schools for plantation. Under the 'Van Samridhi, Jan Samridhi Yojna', locals will be provided facilities for processing, value addition and marketing of herbs from rural forests. To ensure local participation, the government has introduced the 'Mukhya Mantri Mahila Van Mitra Puraskaar' and 'Mukhya Mantri Yuva Van Mitra Puraskaar' for the success of the 'Samudayik Van Samvardhan Yojna' and the 'Vidyarthi Van Mitra Yojna'. Likewise, for government and private schools, the 'Mukhya Mantri Bal Van Mitra Puraskaar' scheme has been started, said the spokesperson. Under the scheme, the first prize of Rs 50,000, the second prize of Rs 40,000 and the third prize of Rs 30,000 is being given to each 'mandal' for contribution to forest protection, fire protection, biodiversity conservation and developing sustainable mechanism. In order to connect the forest enhancement with livelihood, the Himachal Pradesh Forest Eco System Management and Livelihood Improvement project of Rs 800 crore, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, has been launched in six districts - Kullu, Mandi, Lahaul-Spiti, Bilaspur, Shimla and Kinnaur. Under the project, 460 committees will be constituted for promoting activities like forest and environmental protection, biodiversity and organism conservation and improvement in livelihood activities would be encouraged. The efforts of the government have helped in steady rise in the green cover of the state. According to the Indian Forest Survey report of 2017, one per cent increase has been recorded in the forest area of the state, in comparison to the report of 2015, which says 13 sq km growth in forest area has been recorded.