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Rural livelihoods through eco restoration of degraded forest lands

Campaign by Forest First Samithi

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Over 50% of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary are deforested since 1970. This is a critical animal corridor between Nagarhole and Bandipur national parks. While there is no more deforestation in the area, the open canopies have caused an invasion of alien floral species that have taken over large areas of the landscape. The predominant alien species are Senna spectabilis and Lantana camara. The presence of alien invasive species does not allow native floral species to regenerate. Hence there is low density and diversity of native floral species and grass in these degraded patches of forests.  

The presence of alien invasive species reduces food availability for wildlife in these core animal habitats. Lack of food is one of the factors that drive wildlife outside forest lands and crop raids into nearby farms. Decades of degradation have reached a tipping point where farmers have left their paddy land fallow. Beyond this, several perennial local streams that are feeding into river Kabini have started drying up during periods of no rain.

In Tholpetty Range of Wayanad, Forest First Samithi has signed an MoU to work on 20,000 acres of degraded forest lands. , Forest First Samithi has trained a team of local restorers on invasive management of Senna spectabilis and Lantana camara. We work all year round by splitting into monsoon activities and summer activities.  

The monsoon activities are a) Plant native species of wild edible fruits, pollinator species, medicinal plants, riverine species and RET b) Uprooting of invasive Senna spectabilis. The summer activities are a) mulching and maintenance of planted saplings for 3 years b) assisted natural regeneration by uprooting Lantana camara around naturally established saplings.  

We also maintain nursery throughout the year by nurturing saplings for at least 1.5 years before planting. We have conserved 80 native species over the past two years on 200 acres of degraded land supporting local livelihoods for more than 45 youth.

We hope to work on 200 Acres of degraded land per annum until 2024 and then scale up our work to 500 Acres per annum until 2030. 

Restoring 200 Acres of land per annum:

a) Would support livelihood for a team of 55 restorers all year round

b) Plant up to 24,000 native/RET saplings per annum

c) Sequester 350 tCo2e at the end of 2024

d) Uproot invasive Senna from 80 Acres per annum and 40 Acres of ANR per annum

Forest First Samithi

Forest First Samithi

Beneficiary Charity

Forest First

Forest First


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