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Trees for Rural Communities, Yavatmal, Maharashtra

25,000 Trees Adopted by DHL Group 2018-19

Location

25,000 indigenous tree saplings to be planted in the Gairan Land (Designated for community utilization) area of the Morkhed village range, Digras taluka within district Yavatmal, Maharashtra, India. 

Tree Plantation Background

Between 2000 and 2012, 2.3 million square kilometres of forests around the world were cut down (The Nature Conservancy, 2015). Deforestation is often cited as one of the major causes of the enhanced greenhouse effect and a major contributor to global warming (Fearnside, Philip M.; Laurance, William F, 2004. "Tropical Deforestation and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions"). The loss of forest cover influences the climate and contributes to a loss of biodiversity. The economic activity is adversely affected by siltation, flooding, soil degradation and reduced timber supplies. Thus, in turn, threatens the livelihood of people. Moreover, the identified region is mostly inhabited with the Pardhi tribe; they live at the periphery of rural areas in clusters of households bound by kinship relations. According to a study conducted by Tata Institute of Social Science in 2010 on the denotified and nomadic tribes reveals that 90% of the Pardhis in Maharashtra live in a perpetual state of homelessness. While they supplement the local economy, they mostly stay out of the reach of the social systems that sustain self-sufficiency in the village and reflect social order. Their livelihood is predominantly migratory, wage labour; they work at others farmlands, till the soil, cut grass or simply play human-scarecrows to drive off the crows and other animals that may trample onto the crops. Traditionally, many de-notified communities and nomadic tribes have been landless sections of the population.

Project Objectives

  • To reclaim degraded and deforested lands into primary forests with planting native valued trees
  • To incentivize local communities with improved rural employment opportunities and forest-based livelihood options through planting project
  • To promote ecologically sustainable land use pattern safeguarding biodiversity habitat, local traditional practices their livelihood

 

Flora and Fauna

The region is characterized by arid desert, tropical rain forest and also montane range, the varied climate and topography has resulted in diverse floral and faunal presence. The main tree species found in the area include Acacia arabica (Babul), Acacia leucophleca (Hiwar), Zizyphus jujuba (Bor), Butea monosperna (Palas), and Belanites rexburghii (Hinganbet) etc. These forests are full of Euphorbia and Cassia scrub.  Similarly, the major fauna of the region includes Barking Deer (Muntiacus muntjak), Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Golden Jackal (Canis aureus), Indian Leopard (Panthera pardus) among others.

The project involved plantation of 25,000 valued native trees with major portion comprising of Bamboo (Dendrocalamus spp.), Jackfruit (Artocarpus spp.) and Drumstick tree (Moringa spp.) along with other valued native tree species like neem(Azadirachta spp.), Jamum(Syzygium spp.), tamarind(Tamarindus spp.), custard apple(Annona spp.), karnaj and kashid.

Socio-environmental outcome

Sustainable resource management is a major global challenge today with finite resources, thus ever increasing energy demand with a growing population the relevance of land use planning is obvious. The land has limited carrying capacity beyond which there will be degradation and loss in productivity due to excessive use (www.sustainablescale.org). In order to meet various demands of the growing population, the land degrading trend needs to be addressed. Emphasis to be given to the problem of marginal communities, especially those vulnerable segment whose hands this resource has to be efficiently utilized and whose minimum needs the efficient use of such resources is meant to serve. With this background, about 5 hectares land identified for implementing the plantation project in Morkhed village range within district Yavatmal, Maharashtra. As the region is inhabited mostly with the scheduled tribe Pardhis, the group of the community recognised as one of the most depressed society requiring special Constitutional safeguards and developmental attention. The implementation of the plantation project will create direct rural employment opportunity aiding the sensitive rural economy as well as help addressing migration issue in search of wage labour from the village. The project is expected to bring more than 3000 workdays with planting nursery creation, area preparation, plantation and post-plantation maintenance and related to ground activities. The plantation of right native tree species can be an effective way to address the socio-environmental challenge by reclaiming wasteland and degraded lands into forests. Locals dependency on the forest resources can be checked with improved forest produces and fruiting and fodder species for livestock and other minor forest produces. Improved wildlife habitat with fruiting and fodder species will have significance in addressing the rising Human-wildlife conflict mostly in terms of crop depredation contributing to safeguarding the sensitive rural economy. Additionally, plantation of 25,000 native trees will help in improving water table, check top-soil erosion, increase carbon sequestration potential, and overall ecosystem services. On maturity of forests, 25,000 trees are expected to absorb about 500,000 kgs of atmospheric Carbon annually; helping fight against Climate change.



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