Wildlife Sanctuary Revived Through Reforestation

Couple Invests 26 Years In Reforestation

Deforestation threatens life as we know it. A husband and wife team in India has drawn a line in the dirt to promote reforestation and biodiversity.

Pamela Gale Malhotra and her husband, Anil Malhotra, own Sai Sanctuary, the only private wildlife sanctuary in India and have been replanting and protecting forests and wildlife since it’s foundation in 1991. Today, SAI Sanctuary covers more than 300 acres of wildlife habitat that is home to more than 200 endangered species of plants and animals, including Asian elephants and Bengal tigers.

The Western Ghats of India is a biodiversity hotspot and many areas in Kodagu region have been declared as UNESCO sites. Unfortunately, this sacred land is under siege by a burgeoning human population and the associated consumption necessary to support billions of people in India.

deforestation and biodiversity India

“When we first came here, most of the lands that were sold to us, were abandoned lands,” Pamela told Great Big Story. “Abandoned rice fields, coffee, and cardamom fields as well. A lot of deforestation had taken place. And that took a lot, a lot of care and energy and time and years to bring it back.”

The part of India where the sanctuary is located, Kodagu district, has experienced a dramatic decrease in forest cover – from 86 percent in the 1970s to 16 percent today. Pamela explained that this has disastrous effects on rainfall patterns and water supply not only in the district, but throughout the south of India.

The forests are playing a vital role in regulating the climate and biodiversity conservation despite providing livelihood to millions of people living in and around the forests.

The forests of the Western Ghats region of peninsular India have undergone significant transformations over the past century. The nature, extent and causes of these transformations have been due to deforestation, overgrazing, forest fire, rapid urbanization, and encroachment for agriculture.

forest conservation India

The couple is piecing back together the environment by ensuring that the forests can provide shelter for the animals, and the animals can help keep the forests healthy.

“We both feel a tremendous amount of joy when we walk through the sanctuary,” said Pamela. “I’ve never felt this kind of joy in anything else that I’ve done in my life.”

reforestation project India

“When we first came here, most of the lands that we bought were abandoned lands,” said Pamela Malhotra. “It had abandoned rice fields, coffee, and cardamom fields as well. I remember walking through the forest, you wouldn’t hear anything but the sound of your own feet. Now, the place is alive with sound.”

Pamela hopes that the forest continues to be protected and expanded. Read the full story about the SAI Sanctuary.

Watch The Video About Rainforest Restoration In India.

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. It supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

India Plants 50 Million Trees To Fight Climate Change

Reforestation Employed To Defend Ecosystems

By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic

India reports that volunteers planted 49.3 million tree saplings on July 11, shattering the previous record for most trees planted in a single day. That record was set by Pakistan in 2013 by planting 847,275 trees.

A reported 800,000 volunteers from Uttar Pradesh worked for 24 hours planting 80 different species of trees along roads, railways, and on public land. The saplings were raised on local nurseries.

deforestation and climate change

The effort is part of the commitment India made at the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015. In the agreement, signed on Earth Day 2016, India agreed to spend $6 billion to reforest 12 percent of its land (bringing total forest cover to 235 million acres by 2030, or about 29 percent of the country’s territory).

Trees sequester carbon dioxide from the air, thereby reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. India has experienced substantial loss of its forest cover over the past few centuries, as people cut down trees for firewood, pasture, and to make room for development.

Other countries are also replanting trees. In December, African nations pledged to reforest 100 million hectares. A wide range of stakeholders, from countries to companies, also signed on to the non-binding New York Declaration of Forests that month, with the goal of halving deforestation by 2020 and ending it by 2030. The declaration also seeks to restore at least 350 million hectares of degraded land with healthy forests.

Still, the young trees aren’t out of the woods, yet. Saplings need water and care and are susceptible to disease. Experience shows mortality rates as high as 40 percent after such massive tree plantings. Officials will monitor the trees with aerial photography, to see which areas may need special attention.

reforestation and carbon capture

 

“The world has realized that serious efforts are needed to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of global climate change,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said at an event promoting the planting.

Officials also hope the trees will improve air quality in India, which suffers from some of the worst in the world. Trees can help remove some pollutants from the air. Right now, six of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world are in the country.

Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in India, a nation of 1.25 billion people. Some of them may be able to breathe a little easier, and find shade under the trees.

“The biggest contribution of this tree planting project is, apart from the tokenism, that it focuses on the major issues,” said Anit Mukherjee, policy fellow with the Centre for Global Development. “It addresses many of the big issues for India: pollution, deforestation, and land use.”

Reforestation News via http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/india-plants-50-million-trees-uttar-pradesh-reforestation/

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com