As per the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2019, Uttar Pradesh has only 6.15% (14,805.65 sq km.) of its geographical area under tree cover as opposed to the recommended minimum 33%. Inspite of this, thick forests are still diverted for projects like new highways, widening of roads, irrigation, mining, industries and townships, all the time.
SAFE believes that plantation drives, to develop new green patches and support waterbodies, are essential to leave a sustainable planet for the next generations. SAFE members, together, have been planting saplings of native species — Banyan, Peepal and Pilkhan — in different parts of Gr. Noida since 2010. They have done it in villages like Khairpur, Bisrakh and Tilpata with farmers; in various societies with RWAs; schools and colleges with students; and companies in their premises. The drives are mostly carried out in monsoons (to ensure survival of plants) and on private land or designated “green belts” as per city master plans so that the plot is not diverted for other purposes easily. Also, a commitment is taken from the volunteering agency/persons to be responsible for the sapling they have planted for the next 3 years at least.
SAFE has also held a mega-plantation drive called ‘Mission 2020,’ planting 3,000 saplings all the way from Surajpur Wetland to Garh Mukteshwar (a distance of about 90 km) from January to June this year. This stretch was chosen as it has become a chain of industrial townships which are highly polluted and people have lost any touch with nature here. Plantations were done every alternate kilometer with the help of volunteers and locals, and 15 awareness workshops on the importance of greenery were held among them. Importantly, SAFE has also initiated a campaign called ‘My Fruit Orchard’ whereby 11 groves of guava and jamun (Indian Blackberry) are being created with the help of farmers who can donate more or less than a hectare of land each. Two such orchards have already been created in Khodna and Bhogpur.
SAFE has also been striving to protect existing trees as it believes that even 10 saplings cannot equal even one standing fully-grown tree in the myriad ecological functions it serves. SAFE routinely receives complaints of illegal tree felling from its network of volunteers in Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon, and tries to rescue those trees with the help of forest departments.
S.A.F.E. helps people in environmental issues. People contact us either directly or on the basis of references. We specialize in troubleshooting, real time problem solving. We advise people on issues of environment, agriculture, education, health and corruption. This has helped a lot of people.
Training is imparted to farmers, students, and teachers. Training is given to farmers regarding natural farming for agriculture and environment sustainability. We are also training students on how they can save the environment. We are also training teachers how they can educate the children about environment issues and importance. We are doing this program together with other expert organizations. The course gives students information about the environmental issues and laws of India.