Trees for Rural Communities
Plantation of local tree species on the community lands of villages like Gunthaput, Admunda, Bilaput, Majhiput, Kandh-Karadi, Charagaon, K.Chintalguda, and Chikudugudain Koraput, Odisha, India.
The Centre for Research and Action on Development, in its study titled, ‘Effects of Riverbank Erosion on Livelihood’, has clearly highlighted the effects of incessant land loss due to the absence of trees near a river bank to hold the soil against the forceful flow of the river. This has led to agricultural land and crop loss, which has in return resulted in less expenditure on education, healthcare facilities, food, clothes, savings and increased migration. The river also changes its course frequently due to the erosion and siltation resulting in the displacement of the people. The trees that provided forest products to the people are also dwindling in number thus taking away their livelihood opportunities. The April 02, 2018 issue of The Hindu speaks about the adverse effects of climate change, especially in developing countries. Thus trees are required to counter the adverse effects of climate change and protect the local community from conditions like drought and famine. The article of 2nd August 2018 in the Hindu says that due to the soil lying barren and fallow it leads to more warming up of the soil releasing more carbon and leading to warming up of the atmosphere.
The tree species planted here include the karanj, harida, bahada, sissoo, tentuli, amla, bija, simili, sunari, garuda, tangini, khaira, jamukoli, kailari, panas, krushnachuda and simarua.
The animals found here include the elephant, bear, wild boar, porcupine, jungle fowl, hare, mouse deer, and small Indian mongoose.
The bird species found here include the short-nosed fruit bat, weaver bird, blue jay, common grey hornbill, blue-legged quail, woodpecker, cuckoo, crow pheasant, malabar pied hornbill, and parakeet.
On an average a tree offset 20 kgs of carbon per tree per year and produces 118 kg of oxygen per tree per year, the trees reverse the effect of adverse climatic conditions and natural phenomenon, thus protecting the community at risk. The project has so far provided over 11,400 workdays of jobs to the rural community, women being the key beneficiaries. The local communities also earn wages from the upkeep of the saplings and benefit from the use of the non-timber forest produce. The tribal communities have perceived a significant reduction in soil erosion in the area over time and regeneration of the cultivated land is taking place in a slow but consistent manner. This has provided respite from the incessant crop loss along with providing forest products as an alternative source of livelihood. With the new saplings growing, the source of income for the households is maintained thus making it sustainable.