Trees for Tribals™

Viluppuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Project Purpose
Trees for Tribals™


10,000 local mixed saplings to be planted on the Kazhuveli Bioregion, Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. The plantation area comprises 19 villages with about 506 households of Irular settlements.


Enhancement of


Carbon Sequestration

Increase in

Green Cover

Generation of

Rural Employment

Improvement of

Wildlife Habitats

Why Trees?
The Irular tribes, also known as Adivasis or Indigenous people, are some of the earliest settlers in the Indian subcontinent and have made contributions to its culture, history, heritage, and ecosystem. Unfortunately, they have become refugees in their own land and victims of dominant cultural hegemony, human rights violations and development displacement. The Irular tribes are semi-nomadic and settled as a landless and voiceless community in this region. Irulas are an aboriginal ethnic group and they mainly inhabit the parts of Nilgiri mountains and coastal plains in southern India. They are classified as a 'Scheduled tribe', and their population is estimated to being about 189,621 in Tamil Nadu.

Traditionally, the main occupation of the Irulars has been snake and rat-catching. They also work as labourers in the fields of landlords during the sowing and harvesting seasons or in the rice mills. However, after the implementation of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, capturing snakes was prohibited in India. This has led the Irular families to permanently perform labour works, where they kept as bonded labour for long periods with inconsistent pay and low access to sufficient food.

Even though the irular's population is high in the identified project area, they are considered backward in terms of economic and educational advancement. The plantation project aims at engaging the irular communities in implementing on-ground activities which in turn will create job opportunities for the locals. An additional source of income will support their vulnerable economy while also bringing multi-faceted ecological advantages like enhanced carbon sequestration potential, improved greenery and wildlife habitats, increased food, fuel, fruits and flowers, and improved groundwater level.

Social Impact
Sustainable resource management and addressing land degradation are the main objectives of this planting program. The plantation of 10,000 local tree species can be an effective way to address this socio-environmental challenge by reclaiming wasteland and degraded lands into forests. Plantation of fruit-bearing species will enhance the living conditions of the locals who are dependent on forest resources. Tree species for fuelwood and other minor forest produce will also ensure their economic sustainability while generating about 1,000+ workdays of employment for the tribal communities. Moreover, the plantation activity will help in improving the water table, checking top-soil erosion, increasing carbon sequestration potential, generating local employment with household-level participation in implementing and monitoring the project, and improving ecosystem services. Upon maturity, these 10,000 trees are expected to absorb approximately 200,000 kgs of atmospheric carbon every year.

Tree Species
  • Shisham, Sisu, Sheeshami
    Common Name
    Shisham or Sheeshami

    Botanical Name
    Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. ex DC.
  • Neem
    Common Name

    Botanical Name
    Azadirachta indica
  • Amla
    Common Name
    Amla or Indian Gooseberry

    Botanical Name
    Emblica officinalis
  • Karanj
    Common Name

    Botanical Name
    Pongamia pinnata
  • Siris
    Common Name

    Botanical Name
    Albizia Lebbeck
  • Jamun
    Common Name

    Botanical Name
    Syzygium cumini
  • Kachnar
    Common Name

    Botanical Name
    Bauhinia variegata
  • Garmada
    Common Name

    Botanical Name
    Cassia fistula
  • Gulmohar
    Common Name

    Botanical Name
    Delonix regia
  • Kino
    Common Name

    Botanical Name
    Pterocarpus marsupium
  • Gangaraavi
    Common Name

    Botanical Name
    Thespesia populnea
  • Wild Tamarind
    Common Name
    Wild Tamarind

    Botanical Name
    Leucaena leucocephala
  • Jackfruit
    Common Name

    Botanical Name
    Artocarpus heterophyllus
  • Freshwater Mangrove
    Common Name
    Freshwater Mangrove

    Botanical Name
    Barringtonia acutangula
  • Behada
    Common Name

    Botanical Name
    Terminalia bellirica
Target Completed



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