Kolkata: The total forest and social forestry cover in West Bengal has been raised to 12,358 hectares and 934 hectares respectively till 2016-17 under a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assisted project, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday. In a tweet on the occasion of International Day for Biological Diversity, Banerjee expressed her committment to preserving biodiversity in the state saying that the JICA was extending help towards the West Bengal Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Project since 2012. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”JICA-assisted West Bengal Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Project (WBFBCP) commenced in 2012. Till 2016-17, the total plantation raised was 12,358 hectares in forest and 934 hectares under social forestry”, she said in the tweet.The objective of the project was to improve forest ecosystem, conserve biodiversity and improve livelihood. It comprises afforestation, regeneration, wildlife management and income generation activities through Joint Forest Management approach, including institutional capacity development.Environmental conservation has also contributed towards the social development of West Bengal.