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According to the India State of Forest Report (ISFR), the trees out of forests (TOF) can play a significant role in the socio-economic life of urban and rural India. It produces valuable ecosystem services for urban and rural people. TOF resources help conserve biodiversity, stabilize micro-climate and provide shelter to animals. It also contributes significantly to sustainable agriculture, food security, and rural household economies.
SAFE also focuses on promoting the plantation of trees for a sustainable future.
SAFE Plantation Strategies
On case basis, SAFE chooses conventional, modern or mixed methods of tree plantation after analysing the needs of the local environment and soil quality.
According to the conventional method, native species of trees are planted in every 2-3 cm distances. The trees are planted in such a way that they develop into multi layered sustainable mini forests and canopies are developed when the trees are full-grown. The native flowering and fruit bearing trees are also planted along with neem and banyan trees.
Triveni’ is the trio of three native plants viz. neem tree (Azadirachta indica), peepal (Ficus religiosa), and bohar (Ficus benghalensis or any species of figs/banyan) all planted together in one pit. The Triveni produces a large amount of oxygen and purifies the environment. It also controls soil erosion and improves soil health and structure. It induces rainfall. Apart from these, the trio has immense medicinal properties.
The Miyawaki method is named after the Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki who invented it. This method involves planting two to four trees per square metre. Miyawaki forests grow in two to three years. During these years, it needs proper maintenance. After two to three years, the forests are self-sustaining. They help in lowering the temperatures in concrete heat islands, reducing air and noise pollution, attracting local birds and insects, and creating carbon sinks.
Significant Plantation Drives by SAFE
SAFE started the plantation drives in 2010. To date, SAFE has organised 100 plantation drives and planted more than one lakh saplings. SAFE has planted trees in the villages like Khairpur, Bisrakh, and Tilpata along with the local farmers; in various societies along with the RWA members; in schools and colleges along with the students and teachers; and on the premises of organisations along with their employees.
The drives are mostly carried out during the monsoons (to ensure the survival of plants) and on private land or designated “green belts” as per the master plan of the cities.
In 2020, SAFE organised a mega-plantation drive called ‘Mission 2020,’ planting 3,000 saplings all the way from Surajpur Wetland to Garh Mukteshwar covering a distance of about 90 km in a period of 6 months.
My Fruit Orchard
In xxxx, initiated a campaign called ‘My Fruit Orchard’. During this campaign, 11 groves of guava and Jamun (Indian Blackberry) trees were planted. Farmers donated their lands and extended their support to plant these trees in Khodna and Bhogpur villages. This initiative aimed to help the farmers earn from the yields.
In , SAFE planted 20000 saplings along with 12 farmers around their farmlands. This initiative was named livelihood plantation because it aimed to empower the farmers. The farmers could earn their livelihood from the yields.
Developing Urban Forests/Mini- Bio Diversity Parks
SAFE has a plan to develop many mini biodiversity parks in the national capital region. These biodiversity parks promote environmental security by restoring ecosystems. They also recharge groundwater and improve the microclimate of the region. These places could be the abode for education, research, and eco-tourism.
For example, 4-acre land which was a dumping ground earlier is being converted into a mini-biodiversity park in Ghaziabad.
Protecting Trees: SAFE
Not only plantation, but SAFE has also been striving to protect the existing trees. SAFE routinely receives complaints of illegal tree felling from its network of volunteers in Delhi, Noida, and Gurgaon and tries to rescue those trees. In this due course, SAFE involves the forest department officials and government agencies if needed.
SAFE believes in:
Plant a tree today, and plant hope for the future.