Trees for Tribals

Bastar, Chhattisgarh, India

Available for Adoption: 25,000 Trees

Project Purpose
Trees for Tribals

Location
Plantation of 25,000 ecologically valued local trees is to be implemented on community lands across 5 village ranges viz. Sandhkarmari, Aanwarabhata, Jaitgiri, Badalawand, and Kakalgur within the administrative district Bastar in Chhattisgarh, India.

Aim

  • To secure employment for rural communities and encourage grassroots level natural resource management
  • To restore deforested and degraded land by plantation of ecologically valued local species of trees and enhance the biodiversity of the region
  • To promote sustainable and equitable land-use methods by educating the local communities
  • To encourage local participation in sustainable development pathways, natural resource management, and nature-based tourism

Why trees?
Forests play an important role in the lives of indigenous communities. The population in the area primarily consists of tribals, whose mainstay consists of agriculture and collection of forest products. According to an NGO that works toward improving the livelihood capabilities of rural families in the state, agriculture is a major source of income for the rural households in Chhattisgarh and income from agriculture is supplemented by income from wage labour, forest produce, and livestock. Forests are a source of food, fuelwood, medicine, material for housing implements and construction, and livelihood security through the collection, sale, and use of non-timber forest produce. Widespread poverty and lack of opportunities add to the underdeveloped state of the area as reported by the District Administration of the State. "The situation is worsened by the chronic soil erosion due to heavy rainfall, loss of trees and negligence", mentions a study by Ravinder Singh et al. titled “Soils of Chhattisgarh: Characteristics and Water Management Options”. A study by New Zealand tells us how different types of plantations act as protecting agents against various soil problems. This shows that tree plantation is mandatory in order to bring under control the problems of the area and improve the conditions of the tribal community. 

Tree Species
The vegetation of the area is predominantly tropical-dry deciduous. The diverse undulating topography forms an ideal habitat for wildlife typical to the central Indian landscape. The local tree species selected for plantation include Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna), Jamun (Syzigium cumini), Kosam (Schleichera oleosa), Mahua (Madhuca indica), Baheda (Terminalia bellerica), Bhelua (Semecarpus anacardium), Koliyari (Bauhinia purpurea), Karra (Cleistanthus collinus), Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris), Tutlani (Dolichandrone falcata), Kudi (Holarrhena antidysenterica), Kummi (Careya arborea), Pengu (Celastrus paniculatus), Saaj (Terminalia tomentosa), Chironji (Buchanania lanzan), Semal (Bombax ceiba), Siadi (Bauhinia vahlii), Kadasali (Nyctanthes arbor), Dumar (Ficus racemosa), Jam (Psidium), Peepal (Ficus religiosa), and Sevana (Gmelina arborea).

Social Impact
The plantation of valued local trees will aid the forest-dependent communities in the region toward building a sustainable rural economy. The project will generate over 2,000 workdays of rural employment, especially for the local women residents of the region. The plantation of trees will also help secure and enhance wildlife habitats by providing additional food within the forests for herbivores/omnivores, limiting their movement within the forest ranges, which will reduce crop degradation and incidents of human-wildlife conflict, strengthening a sensitive agriculture-based local economy.
Trees have carbon sequestration capacity which will aid climate change mitigation in the long term. 25,000 trees are expected to absorb approximately 500,000 kgs of atmospheric carbon annually, upon maturity. Additionally, the extended afforestation project would complement the National Mission for Green India by enabling local level action which aims at protecting and restoring the degraded forest land and engaging local communities in key roles for planning, decision making, implementation, and monitoring during plantation.

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