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Trees for the Himalayas

Haridwar-Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Adopted by HDFC Bank

Project Purpose
Trees for Holy Environs

Location

Plantation of mixed local tree saplings on the community lands of Haridwar, partly covering the Army cantonment zone in Dehradun city of the northern Indian state, Uttarakhand.

Aim

Enhancement of

Biodiversity

Carbon Sequestration

Disaster Mitigation

Generation of

Rural Employment

Improvement of

Wildlife Habitats

Why Trees?
The identified region of Haridwar and Dehradun is situated in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, surrounded by the mighty Himalayas. This Himalayan range is continuously facing stresses from the global climatic scenario which are consequently impacting its fragile ecosystems, rich biodiversity, and sensitive local livelihoods. Forests and Climate Change are intimately intertwined; according to the United Nations Environment, "forests capture atmospheric carbon dioxide at a rate equivalent to about one-third the amount released annually by burning fossil fuels. Stopping deforestation and restoring forests, therefore, could provide up to 30 per cent of the climate change solution." The forest resource management in Uttarakhand is administered by the autonomous local institution which has been in existence since 1921 –the ‘Van Panchayats’ or Forest Councils.
About 20 to 30 per cent of the local households in the selected villages are living below the poverty line with a very high dependency on forest resources for their day-to-day requirements, primarily for firewood and livestock fodder. The plantation of these trees will provide immediate employment to the rural communities, also clearing the way for sustainable sources of income in the near future. With deteriorating agricultural output, the state earns most of its revenue from the tourism sector. "Frequent disasters like landslides and cloudbursts have led to various obstructions in the tourism sector", mentions Business Standard in its article, "which restricts the ample job opportunities for the people." The state faces various threats in the development of the tourism and agriculture sector, impending disaster being the most significant, as reported by Hindustan Times on September 27th, 2018. All these issues make forests significant in this Himalayan state making plantation of valued native trees an urgent action to balance the local economy and ecology of the area.

Social Impact
The tree-planting project for 100,000 saplings has covered 280 Gram Panchayats of Haridwar District on community-owned lands and in the army contentment zone of Dehradun. These trees will help to reclaim degraded and deforested lands with primary forests, strengthen forest-based livelihood opportunities for local communities, protect the biodiversity habitat, uplift rural communities, combat air pollution, and rejuvenate water bodies and rural landscapes. Implementing the project successfully will create about 8,186 rural workdays, mainly for women, supporting the vulnerable rural economy. The trees are planted across 1,230 hectares of land in Haridwar and around 20 hectares of land in Cantonment Board Dehradun. 100,000 trees are expected to absorb approximately 2 million kg of atmospheric carbon every year on their maturity. The plantation project will help in the process of decarbonising, strengthening the fight against climate change.

Tree Species
Target Completed


Planters

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