Mission to Plant a Million Trees in Pune

Plant more trees. Adopt trees. Maintain trees.

Have you lived in Pune for a while? or Do you have friends and family who have stayed here for quite some time? Do you miss the old charm of Pune?

If yes, you would know that Pune used to be a very different city than it is today. Rather, it was altogether a different place a decade ago!

Temperature was nominal, pleasant weather was usual, greenery surrounded the city at every nook and corner and finally, there was hardly any water problem. As time passed by, temperature soared and so did the water problems.

But, what happened? What changed in this city? Why did the weather change suddenly and people started facing water scarcity on regular basis?

Well, there are quite a lot of reasons for it but mainly, it can be attributed to the excessive loss of forest cover in Pune and the surrounding areas in Maharashtra.

The western ghats have been tampered with. The hills are blasted to construct residential and commercial complex. Deforestation is increasing at a deadly rate.

Don’t believe us? You can surely believe the articles published by leading newspapers of India.

62,000 trees axed in 7 years Pune district loses 26 sq km of forest cover in two years

According to Hindustan Times, Maharashtra lost 6,346 hectares or 63 sq km of forests to non-forestry purposes including mining, between 2014 and 2017, reveals data from the union environment ministry

That’s a lot of deforestation in a very short span of time.

Although more and more trees, are been cut regularly, people are getting super busy with their lives and work, caring lesser and lesser about their natural surroundings.

In 2014, there was a massive landslide in Pune. Do you remember reading about it? This is an excerpt from BBC news

Environmentalists feel that deforestation may have triggered Wednesday's landslide in western India that killed at least 30 people and left up to 200 trapped.

Environmentalist Satish Thigale tells The Times of India that "a large-scale deforestation had made the place vulnerable".

D Stalin, another environmentalist, also blames the disaster on "mindless deforestation aimed at excavation and construction"

This is disheartening. Even though such incidents have surfaced time and again across the country, all of us have been tuned to forget about it as time passes and go on with our (read, selfish) lives.

But, can you do something about it?

If we all decide to come together for the cause and begin planting more trees, we can make a difference. A huge difference!

And, this is what Plant a Million Tree is all about.

What is the Mission to Plant a Million Trees all about?

Plant a Million Tree is an initiative by Youth Talent and Development Society (YTDS), a non governmental organization based in Pune, with an ambitious (and yet achievable) target of planting a million trees this year.

The mission is aimed to raise awareness, build concern, bring in people, college students, school children, NGOs, environmentalists and corporates together to reach a goal of planting a million tree before 2018 ends.

By planting as many trees in your neighborhood (or city in general) , you can increase the urban forest at street parks, roads, commercial lands, residential buildings etc and avail the endless benefits of forest cover.

After all, planting trees will be ultimately beneficial to us.

But, is it a million trees achievable?

Of course! It is!

Are you excited to contribute to this mission? Do you run an organization which supports green initiatives? Do you want to include this as your corporate social responsibility campaign?

To get more information on Plant a Million Tree campaign, you can call us at +91 8999621797 or drop us an email at info@ytds.org

Where did this idea come from? Is it even realistically achievable?

The idea of planting a million trees came from New York’s success in planting them. But, again, the obvious benefits of planting trees - improved air quality, provide shade, control temperatures, hold groundwater, handle pollution levels, offset climate change, reduce stress etc - were another driving force to take this up.

While planting a million trees sounds a lot to some,

According to Independent UK, about 1.5 million people were involved in the huge plantation campaign, in which saplings were placed along the Narmada river in the state of Madhya Pradesh throughout the day.

After reading this, our goal to plant a million trees by the year end seems SO small. Isn’t it?

Why is it absolutely necessary to plant more trees?

In a news article by Hindustan Times, Maharashtra was ranked fourth in India for maximum forest land diverted, with 40 proposals sanctioned over three years. The data was submitted by Mahesh Sharma, minister of state, Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change to the Lok Sabha last week

Not only this, a staggering 400 hectares, of forest have been wiped off the map of Maharashtra in two years (2007-2011), raising eyebrows about conservation strategies adopted by forest and environment authorities. The loss of forest cover purportedly due to human actions such as illegal tree felling, drilling into mountains, creating settlements or farming is bound to have an impact on biodiversity conservation and carbon accounting, experts said.

Do we realize the long term repercussions for this?

Some do and still ignore. Some don’t pay attention to it at all.

To name a few, deforestation can result

  • In extinction of millions of species that live only in the forest cover, thereby, displacing animals and affecting the entire food chain. This is the reason why cheetahs and tigers are seen roaming in the cities established near jungles or attack villagers.

  • Without trees, the soil gets dried up. Deforestation can result in barren lands.

  • Trees also help in holding the groundwater. So, you can imagine what happens without them

  • There is no other natural creation except trees that absorb greenhouse gases and contribute to controlling climatic change.

And, that is just a beginning of the list of repercussions!

Look at a few headlines from newspapers

Deforestation Has Driven Up Hottest Day Temperatures, Study Says

Forest loss leads to local climate change effect in Borneo

Study links malaria to deforestation in the Amazon

Colombia’s supreme court orders government to stop Amazon deforestation

Deforestation leads to big hikes in local temperature, study finds

This is reality!

And, it’s time we all wake up and do something about it.

How can you participate in this mission?

There is deforestation everywhere. We should protest and fight the Government to change rules protecting forests and natural resources but that takes a lot of time in a country like India.

If you can start a plantation drive alongside, we can save our future. All we need to do is plant as many trees wherever and whenever possible.

Plant more trees. Adopt trees. Maintain trees.

Let’s come together and start this plantation drive. After all, it is about the future of our children.

Don’t you want to provide them with a sustainable living? Or are you ok with the thought that they won’t have clean air, no forest cover and attacked by nature's fury time and again.

Remember, planting trees in your surrounding has several benefits - pure air, shade, controlled pollution and dust etc.

Gather people in your colony, office, school etc and discuss possible places to plant a tree. Join us in the mission to plant a million trees in 2018.

Who can be a part of this initiative?

Anyone and everyone!

We want to plant a million trees by the end of 2018 and for that, we need support from as many people as possible including

  • Individuals
  • Schools (this could be a great activity for children on the World Environment Day on June 5th)
  • Corporates
  • Colleges
  • Green NGOs
  • Government organizations and departments

We don’t want you to be a dormant part of this mission. We need commitment from all of you and drive to achieve this goal!

To get more information on Plant a Million Tree campaign, you can call us at +91 8999621797 or drop us an email at info@ytds.org

When do we start?

5th June 2018, on the World Environment Day.

What to keep in mind while planting saplings?

Always select native or indigenous varities.

Some of the native trees include Ain, Amba, Badam, Chinch, Gulmohar, Jamun, Karanj, Neem, Peepal, Wad, Bamboo, Anjan, Arjun, Beheda, Bel, Bor, Sitaphal (custard apple), Fanas, Gulvel, Hirda, Kavat, Khair, Kanchan, Naral, Nilgiri, Teak, Cashew etc

Why do we say this?

Because non native plants can act as invaders in an established ecosystem. These plants have the capability to crowd out and choke native species, deprive them of light and nutrients, upset the balance of the native flora.

This campaign encourages plantation of ONLY indigenous species that are appropriate for local environment.

The objective of Planting a Million Tree is to bring community, organizations, business, industry, corporates, civil societies and government together to collectively plant at least one million trees in 2018.

To get more information on Plant a Million Tree campaign, you can call us at +91 8999621797 or drop us an email at info@ytds.org