New Delhi: Diversified business firm ITC Ltd on Thursday said it has received the ‘2012 World Business and Development Award’ at the ongoing Rio+20 United Nations Summit in Brazil.

The award has been given for the transformational rural initiatives in social and farm forestry programmes in India undertaken by the company, ITC Ltd said in a statement.

A file photo of a rural initiative

Commenting on the award, ITC chairman Y C Deveshwar said the firm’s social and farm forestry initiative has been able to transform thousands of lives of tribals and poor farmers.

“It gives us tremendous encouragement to witness the global appreciation for this initiative and this recognition will indeed help us in taking this initiative to newer heights," he added.

ITC’s social and farm forestry programmes provides sustainable livelihoods to rural wasteland owners by helping convert their wastelands into pulpwood plantations.

While farm forestry focuses on farmers owning wastelands, social forestry targets resource-poor tribals and farmers. Currently the programmes cover over 125,000 hectares.