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Trees for Tribals

Viluppuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Project Purpose
Trees for Tribals

Location

85,000 local mixed saplings to be planted in the Viluppuram, Thiruvanamalai, Chengalpet, Kancheepuram, and Thiruvallur districts of Tamil Nadu. The plantation area comprises 150 villages with about 5200 households of Irular settlements.

Aim

Enhancement of

Biodiversity

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 85,000 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 7,000 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 85,000 trees are expected to absorb approximately 200,000 kgs of atmospheric carbon every year.

Tree Species
  • Nimboo
    Common Name
    Lemon

    Botanical Name
    Citrus limon
  • Teak
    Common Name
    Teak

    Botanical Name
    Tectona grandis
  • Shisham, Sisu, Sheeshami
    Common Name
    Shisham or Sheeshami

    Botanical Name
    Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. ex DC.
  • Jamaphal, Peru, Jamb, Amrood, Amrut
    Common Name
    Guava or Amrood

    Botanical Name
    Psidium guajava L.
  • Neem
    Common Name
    Neem

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

    Botanical Name
    Emblica officinalis
  • Karanj
    Common Name
    Karanj

    Botanical Name
    Pongamia pinnata
  • Siris
    Common Name
    Siris

    Botanical Name
    Albizia Lebbeck
  • Jamun
    Common Name
    Jamun

    Botanical Name
    Syzygium cumini
  • Custard Apple
    Common Name
    Custard Apple

    Botanical Name
    Annona squamosa
  • Kachnar
    Common Name
    Kachnar

    Botanical Name
    Bauhinia variegata
  • Garmada
    Common Name
    Garmada

    Botanical Name
    Cassia fistula
  • Gulmohar
    Common Name
    Gulmohar

    Botanical Name
    Delonix regia
  • Kino
    Common Name
    Kino

    Botanical Name
    Pterocarpus marsupium
  • Gangaraavi
    Common Name
    Gangaraavi

    Botanical Name
    Thespesia populnea
  • White Teak
    Common Name
    White Teak

    Botanical Name
    Gmelina arborea
  • Wild Tamarind
    Common Name
    Wild Tamarind

    Botanical Name
    Leucaena leucocephala
  • Jackfruit
    Common Name
    Jackfruit

    Botanical Name
    Artocarpus heterophyllus
  • Pomegranate
    Common Name
    Pomegranate

    Botanical Name
    Punica granatum
  • Freshwater Mangrove
    Common Name
    Freshwater Mangrove

    Botanical Name
    Barringtonia acutangula
  • Behada
    Common Name
    Behada

    Botanical Name
    Terminalia bellirica
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