Trees for Rural Communities
Plantation of 15,000 trees in the community lands of Papagni river basin, Anantapur district, Southern Andhra Pradesh, India.
• Conserve resources like soil that contribute to the existence and livelihood of the people of the area.
• Provide livelihood opportunities to the people directly with the contribution of forest products
• Protection of the environment from the severe effects of climate change by sequestering carbon, releasing oxygen and absorption of other harmful particulate matters.
• Contributes to shielding the local community from the immediate harmful effects of disasters.
The article ‘Soil Erosion Andhra Pradesh’ by Dr. S. L. Patil from the Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation elaborates the quantitative details of the soil loss in the state and the need for initiation of rapid conservation methods. The potential of minimal conservation efforts to provide greater returns has also been mentioned by him, which makes tree plantation extremely productive in the area. The European Environmental Agency highlights the ability of the forests to prevent disasters in the long term if timely action is taken. The increase of forest cover increases the water retention capacity of the area thereby preventing floods. It also shields against landslides, that are rampant in the area and cause great loss of life and resources as mentioned by the Geological Survey of India. In the article titled, ‘Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition’ contributed by Eva Muller ( Director of the Forest Economics, Policy and Products Division of the Forestry Department, FAO) and Fred Kafeero ( Forestry Officer of FAO with extensive field experience on participatory forestry and improving forest-based livelihoods), mentions the role of forests in mitigating the effects of climate change and contributing to food security for the most vulnerable people, thus making plantation of trees extremely important to the community and the environment at large.
The native tree species selected for the plantation includes Seethaphal (Annona squamosa), Raavi (Ficus religiosa), Kunkudu (Sapindus mukorossi), Velaga(Limonia acidissima), Kukka Neredu(Alstonia scholaris), Gangaravi(Thespesia populnea), and Kanuga(Pongamia pinnata).
The Yellow-throated Bulbul, the near-threatened- Black-headed Ibis and Indian Black Turtle, peacock, jungle fowl, pigeon, parrot, myna amongst the birds and animal species like leopard, hyena, wolf, sambar, spotted deer or chital, wild goat and bears can be seen.
Plantation of local species has contributed in the conservation of the resources like soil by preventing rapid flow of rainwater. The ground-water retention capacity of the soil also increases thereby supporting the vegetation growth in the area in a cyclic manner. The agriculture in the nearby region also is supported due to this contribution of the trees as well as the addition of nutrients to the soil. The absorption of carbon and release of oxygen contributes to a healthy environment and keeps the global temperature in check. This, in turn, prevents the major natural disasters and shield the community from major losses due to it. The Non-Timber Forest Products contributed is a source of additional livelihood opportunity for the people, in addition to the improved agricultural output provided by the trees, thus making the tree plantation in the area very productive.