Trees for Rural Communities
Plantation of 89,990 trees in the community lands villages of Borawali Madri, Dhol, Kamol, Tegra, Karech, Thadi Beri and Dhimdi in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Ecotourism in Rajasthan: Prospects and Perspectives by Shailja Sharma et al., states that development of ecotourism will lead to the creation of jobs, development of infrastructure and develop all the small industries in the tourism sector. The World Bank in its article Sustaining Forests and Livelihoods in a Changing World highlights the role of trees in absorbing greenhouse gases and protection from floods and landslides. The trees contribute to sustainable food production resulting in poverty alleviation and most importantly it stresses the acute water shortage that will be witnessed in the near future. It says by 2025, 2.4 billion people will live in countries unable to provide sufficient water for basic health, agriculture, and commercial needs. The tree cover protects the soil from wind and water erosion, thereby preventing topsoil loss. The article, ‘Investigating the effects of afforestation on soil erosion and sediment mobilisation in two small catchments in Southern Italy’ by Paolo Porto et al. show that areas with discontinuous tree cover suffer from constant soil loss. Thus by saving soil loss, sequestering carbon and reviving the water table, trees help in agriculture, as observed by S.C. Cunningham, in the article, Balancing the environmental benefits of reforestation in agricultural regions.
The tree species which are planted here include bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris), jambul (Syzygium cumini), karanj (Millettia pinnata), khair(Senegalia catechu), siris(Albizia lebbeck), imli(Tamarindus indica) and mahua(Madhuca longifolia).
The bird and animal species include golden oriole, grey pigeon, bulbul, red spurfowl, grey junglefowl, leopard, hare, and jungle cat.
This project positively impacts the lives of 3500 villagers (almost 650 households). Due to their primal dependence on forests the community actively participates in the regeneration of the forests with the help of their traditional knowledge. The trees planted contribute in soil and water conservation, improve farm productivity, provide economic returns with the help of non-timber forest products along with conservation of the local faunal habitat. It also helps in groundwater management and topsoil management thereby contributing to agriculture. Ecotourism is also benefited from the plantation and thus generates livelihoods. Disasters like flood and soil erosion rampant in the Rajasthan desert are also prevented by the plantation of the trees.