Setting up bee boxes at Aditi leaning Centre, Kusgaon, Kamshet. A circle has been complete at ALC -with Restoration of forests, Rainwater harvesting, Soil conservation initiatives, Documentation of Biodiversity, Documentation of changes happening in the ecosystem over the years and now introducing bees for pollination. The vision with setting up bee boxes is not to harvest honey but to increase pollination in the area.
Once seen frequently in the wild, fewer and fewer wild colonies exist today due to increasing use of chemicals in every everyday life, in farms and in gardens. At Aditi Learning Centre, bees will thrive as there has been no chemicals used in the area since last decade.
The most important thing that bees do is pollinate. And survival of Humans depends on that. Decreasing chemicals in any way we can, would help bees survive and in turn help humans survive.
Let it bee
FORREST worked on creation and ecological restoration of MICROSOFT’s “Velimala Forest Park” at Velimala, Sangareddy, Telangana. Velimala Forest Park has been established at a reserve forest of 12 Acres at Velimala village near Hyderabad. The ecological restoration work involved-
This Reserve Forest restoration and conservation work is a collaborative project of Microsoft India, Telangana Forest Dept., FORREST and Gamlaa Bioscapes Pvt. Ltd.
Bhamburda is one of the highest hill range in the Pune city. Bhamburda forest garden has been developed by Forest department to conserve the hill.To assess biodiversity of the Bhamburda Forest Garden seasonal assessment surveys were performed.Biodiversity of plants, mammals, birds, butterflies, other insects, reptiles, amphibians were prepared.
Shashwat is a private conservation area at Maval taluka, Pune. About 50 acres of the area is being used for Organic farming and organic dairy. Rest of the area has been reserved in its natural state as conservation area.FORREST is conducting an Ecological assessment & working on long-term conservation planning of this private conservation area.
FORREST undertook a social forestry initiative is Kirti Garden tekri on Sus village road, Pune. The plantation drives were conducted involving volunteers.
Bhamburda is a community garden situated in the Pune city, which was selected to prepare model development plan for conservation of urban green pockets.
Conservation of these green pockets helps in sustaining urban biodiversity, reduce heat island effect, mitigate pollution etc.
Project area was divided into zones as per the ecological features and observations. etailed zone-wise ecological data was collected. Seasonal surveys were performed to gather data for ecology and biodiversity richness. Role of community participation in the conservation was documented.
Raee is a private conservation area at Sangameshwar, Ratnagiri. Raee is nestled between forest of Western Ghats & Shastri river. FORREST is working on conservation planning of this private conservation area cum resort.
As per our Ecological studies, area supports very rich biological diversity. To make water available for wildlife during summer months we have constructed water hole artificially. Usage by wildlife & changes it brings to the area are being studied.
Forest plantations have been done in Aditi Learning Centre with Miyawaki technique. 1300 forest trees of more than 50 species of Indigenous trees have been planted in forest plantation area. FORREST is researching & documenting these forest Plantations to study the growth pattern of the forest plants & the changes it brings to the ecosystem and micro-climatic conditions.
Under “Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation” scheme (AMRUT) Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation developed four gardens at Shahu-nagar, Laxmi-nagar and Punawale respectively. AMRUT is a flagship scheme of Central Government, which aims to provide cities with amenities like water supply, sanitation, open spaces and a pollution-free environment.
FORREST has worked with PCMC as Miyawaki consultant under AMRUT scheme, to create urban forests with Miyawaki technique. For creating urban forest, 12500 native trees belonging to 100 species were selected and planted densely to match our natural forest systems. Forestry was carried out at four different locations. Created forest patches are already attracting butterflies, bees and birds.
CDC1 – PCMCPunawale- PCMC
Aditi Learning Centre is an organization in Kamshet, Pune, Maharashtra, which works on grass root levels for providing education & empowering school dropout girls, from rural areas.
The 11-acre campus area is kept in its natural conditions with natural vegetation which supports very high biodiversity. More forestry was planned at the open available areas. Four patches were selected for forestry at ALC. Forestry was carried out through Miyawaki forestry technique.
Forestry is planned with the vision of increasing the biodiversity richness of this ecoregion. ALC property has been used as a demonstration to awaken and educate people and organizations
Total 1320 native trees belonging to 66 species were selected and planted densely to match natural forest systems. Bamboos of 7 different species were planted along the boundary.
Girivan is Bungalow aggregate situated in Hotale village, Mulshi taluka of Pune, Maharashtra. It is situated in the Sahyadri hills with moist deciduous forest.
Miyawaki Forest was planned in a private property situated in Girivan. Three patches in the area were selected for small Miyawaki forests other than plantation at the periphery for screening the property.
Six layers of plants with 236 native trees of 51 species were selected and planted densely replicating the natural forests of the area.
A farm owner has 28 acres of land in pristine forest of northern Western Ghats at Terdi village, Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. With COVID pandemic, owner committed his entire land for forest and biodiversity conservation. For first phase of land restoration, natural forest around was studied and 95 forest plant species of Western Ghats were selected. For restoration forestry technique based on Miyawaki forestry technique was employed.
The forest restoration aims to make the farm area self-sustainable in 4-5 years. The forest will start generating various forest products which would generate income downstream through trading activities and processing. These forest produces will be chemical free and can be used for all-natural products.
Currently forest products are harvested from forest areas, depleting the wild genetic pool of our forests. Harvesting forest produces from regenerated farm forests on one hand will arrest indiscriminate exploitation, deforestation, and degradation of natural forests and on another hand will help farmers to make their farms self-sustainable.
Aquatica Frozen Foods Global Pvt Ltd a company at coastal Andhra Pradesh, Prakasam district sought restoration of one of their lands which was completely devoid of vegetation. To restore this area through forestry, a Miyawaki forest of huge proportions was created in Dec 2020 with 10000 trees of 104 native species. Company employees and staff too participated in forestry drives along with locals.
As there is no forest in about 100 km radius around this location, this forest will bring unparalleled changes in the local ecosystem and biodiversity.
We intended for long that in every urban garden some part should be designated as urban forest where forest should be created which can be –
We approached Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) with the same vision, and they approved an urban forest in their upcoming Smart City Garden in Pune’s prime area. Knowing this could be a wonderful platform for creating awareness, we grabbed the project opportunity.
We approached few corporates and before project could materialize, COVID pandemic happened. Corporate funders backed out, but we still had this urban forest approval which we do not wanted to slip away. Raising part funding from donors, rest from FORREST and with the help of few enthusiastic volunteers we created this biodiversity pocket at the centre of the Pune City in Jan 2021.
Restored forest is at the riverbank in Smart Garden Pimple Nilakh with 450 trees belonging to 70 species of local native forest trees. Miyawaki forestry technique was adopted for creating the forest.
Thanks to PCMC for giving us another opportunity of restoration through forestry. Now we wait for this forest to welcome birds, butterflies and bees.
Few people know that Delhi Public School (DPS) Pune, known for its education excellence is also a place where environment education comes live. Already having a vermi- composting unit, vegetable garden, campus full of trees, they decided to create a forest at their Mohammed Wadi, school campus.
FORREST worked with enthusiastic DPS team to create this forest. Teachers and staff participated in the forestry drive. Together we created a space for students to have learning opportunities, to know forest ecology and biodiversity where sessions and activities will be conducted throughout the year.
80 species of native, local forest trees are selected for creating this forest.
A forest as a classroom to understand and to learn.
FORREST worked on habitat restoration through forestry along the Khadakwasla lake bank in May 2021. This forest was restored on the de-silted sediments extracted from the lake and deposited on the lake bank.
Khadakwasla Lake is the main source of water for Pune and its suburbs. With increasing habitation around lake, agricultural activities along the bank, soil erosion on land and activities in the water, siltation in the lake is constant. De-siltation of this lake is being done by green thumb organization for the last 10 years with the help of CSR of numerous companies.
FORREST carried out this project in collaboration with Green Thumb, Pune and funding support of Cummins India Pvt ltd.
FORREST restored a forest of 2000 trees with 120 ecologically suitable, native, forest tree species in the riparian zone of Khadakwasla lake. Forest restoration in this riparian zone is crucial as restored forest will prevent soil erosion and decrease siltation in water in the first place. Forest will restore habitat biodiversity, will positively influence flora and fauna of a very larger and of aquatic ecosystem. In long term restored area will become a wildlife corridor along the lake bank.
FORREST is creating a Greenbelt at Sesa Goa, Navelim for Vedanta Limited.
For creating greenbelt at Sesa Goa, Miyawaki forestry technique is being adopted. This upcoming Miyawaki forest has 7500 trees specifically selected from this eco region.
Though a green belt is a buffer zone beyond the operating industry, created to act as sink for the gases released and to absorb sound created by the operating machines, we have envisioned this Miyawaki forest beyond this. This forest would be a Biodiversity restoration zone and seed bank for forest trees of western ghat.
This is an ongoing project.
Bosch and Brembo India collaborated to conserve a waterbody and convert it into a Biodiversity Park at Nanekarwadi, Chakan MIDC, Pimpri Chinchwad. FORREST partnered with Bosch and Brembo to restore forest through Miyawaki forestry technique and create this biodiversity park. Employees of Bosch and Brembo participated in forestry drives.
Restored forest has 1220 trees, for which 112 ecologically suitable, native forest trees, shrubs and grasses were selected. Along with the forestry, water bund was created, boulder sitting area was created, pathway was made, and FORREST is also documenting the biodiversity of the area.
This 5 Acre Biodiversity area with 2 Acres of water body in it would be a platform to educate, inspire, conserve and provide ecological functions in an industrialized set up.
FORREST instigated seasonal ecological assessment of Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in collaboration with Forest Department in Jan 2016.This one of the kind field study focuses on assessment of current floral and faunal biodiversity of the sanctuary to develop a better conservation plan keeping in view the various environmental and social dynamics of the area.
Aditi Learning Centre is a unique school in Kamshet with objective of providing education & empowering school dropout girls, from rural area. FORREST conducted an ecological assessment of ALC from January 2016 to March 2017.Seasonwise surveys were conducted to measure floral & faunal diversity & distribution of the area.
Ecological Assessment and GIS mapping of the proposed gas pipeline route at three districts of UP and Haryana was conducted.
Proposed area was assessed and analysed through secondary data and GIS mapping for the presence of forest areas, important wildlife habitats, protected areas, mangroves, breeding and nesting sites of fauna, coastal areas, wetlands, grasslands, mangroves and other sensitive areas from proposed pipelines.
Through the project minimization of waste at individual’s home was initiated. It involves home composting & minimization of polythene usage.Participants are empowerment through increased awareness regarding environmental problems & their solutions.91 % of the beneficiaries have learned composting well & are composting for 10 months. We plan to extend this project at community level. This will be community driven project with the vision of clean and green villages.
Aditi Learning Centre is at Kamshet, Pune. Kamshet has high annual average rainfall but water does not sustain for the whole year in the project area. To overcome the shortage of water during summer season water & soil conservation interventions were designed & implemented.
Through the structures, rain water was converted into ground water. This ground water recharge increased the yield of well. Usually ground water is available till mid Feb in the well. Ground water availability in the well in 2018, after intervention, was throughout the summer months.
Girivan is Bungalow aggregate situated in Hotale village, Mulshi taluka of Pune, Maharashtra. Less rainfall and over extraction of ground water has resulted in severe depletion of groundwater levels in Girivan area.
While existing borewells have drying up or supplying negligible amount of water, residents are dependent majorly on tanker water.
As one of the solutions on individual level, borewell recharging was carried out. Bore well recharging is a technique to replenish ground water tables and aquifers with naturally filtered rainwater.
After just one monsoon, the results of borewell recharging are already evident. The said borewell which use to dry by January every year has running water in summers.
Long term impacts of the borewell recharging are being studied.
Velhe is a taluka place 60 kms from Pune. Soil and water conservation project was carried out at Hirpodi village, Velhe. Project area is located at an elevation of appx 800 mt on a small hillock. The project land was denuded of any vegetation apart from seasonal grasses.
250 Contour Trenches were made all over the project land. A key intervention in ridge-to-valley watershed management is Contour Trenches which aim to increase infiltration of rainwater, reducing water runoff, reduce soil loss and increase the ground water level.
More than 500 trees were planted over bunds of these trenches. As there is no water source on the project land, native drought tolerant trees were selected for planting. 200 ficus species were planted which will lead to fruiting of trees throughout the year and which will support rich biodiversity down the line.
Making of trenches and planting trees involved lots of transport of materials and supplies uphill. This arduous task was carried out by villagers of Horpodi.
In the coming time, we will see the transformation of this barren hill into a small and rich forest. This watershed management initiative will bring long term positive changes in water, soil and biodiversity in the large area.
This farm area of 5 Acres located amid forest of Mulshi, Nandivali village had no perineal water source and existing borewells, were not yielding water throughout the year.
Project for water and soil conservation was carried out at this farm area. Project was intended to ensure self-sustainability of water before further activities of farming and other developments can be planned. We worked on recharging the ground water aquifer through rainwater harvesting.
Project Interventions carried out were-
Bunds and percolation pits addresses increases infiltration of rainwater, reduce water runoff, reduce soil loss, increase the ground water level and facilitate water conservation for vegetation.
To arrest soil erosion some part of the land was covered with dense plantation. This afforestation for soil stabilization was done with Miyawaki forestry technique. Total 52 native, local tree species were planted on the open slope. Trees which are medicinal, flowering, having edible fruits, soil reclamation properties and support high biodiversity were selected.
This watershed management initiative will bring long term positive changes in water, soil, and biodiversity in the larger area.
Summer Awareness Sessions were conducted for the students of Aditi Learning Centre, Kamshet in 2017.Main objective was awakening student’s Environmental consciousness. Students learned basics of Ecology, ecosystem services& through fun activities & on field sessions. Environmental awareness booklet was prepared for the students for the project.
Creative awareness sessions with the focus of-Ecology & Conservation are being conducted in various schools.
Knowledge Partner for for Rashtriya Kruishi Vikas Yojna, (RKVY-RAFTAAR) Agri Business Incubator programmes of-
• Banaras Hindu University, IIT(BHU), Varanasi) of Uttar Pradesh State supported by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Govt. of India
• UDGAM and PRAGATI scheme of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, organized by Agri Business Incubator, SKUAST-Jammu, 2020
• Chhattisgarh State supported by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Govt. of India, 2020
The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna – Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation (RKVY-RAFTAAR) Agripreneurship is a scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW), Govt. of India aimed at strengthening infrastructure in agriculture and allied sector in order to promote agripreneurship and agribusiness by providing financial support and nurturing the incubation ecosystem.
FORREST has prepared a Booklet on Biodiversity and Biodiversity Collages of Aditi Learning Center, based on observations of two years of Ecological assessments.
We plan to restore a forest of 20000 trees in the monsoon of July 2021! And we need your help to do that! Contribute saplings in Vruksh Khosh or donate Rs. 50 per sapling.