Uttarayan_Plantation Phase 1

We at Uttarayan Wildlife www.uttarayanwildlife.org are excited to announce our first phase of reforestation in South Bengal - Plantation at South Bengal || Bankura , Purulia || Uttarayan Wildlife || Rainmatter Foundation - YouTube

Please let us know if anyone has any queries - would love to share experiences!


Thanks @uttarayanwl

How many trees are we planting, and what are we doing to ensure they survive?

Thanks Nitin.

In last one year of the rewilding project in Bankura and Purulia in approx. 253 acres(760 bighas) along elephant corridors of degraded fallow land - 13,350 has been -planted as a mixture of fruit(take care of local economy and SDG 1), native economical viable forest trees(as per our study of reference forest of Sutan and agro forestry done of mustard in places.

We are starting our land preparation for this year.

For survival the different techniques used are:

  1. Community ownership of the plantation area so that they maintain with water and warding off cattle - initial days of minimum 60/40 partnership and then with one year completion, we wean that so that locals are empowered to take over
  2. Project support in key rain shadow months with watering equipments
  3. During land preparation, organic fertilizer, mulching to preserve soil moisture helps in growth

We have had an average success of 60-70% in all our 7 areas.

What is the incentive for the community to own this? The food produced?

How do you define success? Plants that survive for how many years?

For now since we are at the initial year - our present yearly success criterion is based on:

  1. Plant resilience esp during dry months(last year rainfall in West Bengal was -44%)
  2. End year how far they have grown and how healthy are they
  3. Community participation and responsibility taken in this effort to secure and nurture the plants

We have a set SOP to document the maintenance.

Final success would be based on the longevity - expected to become a healthy forest cover for minimum 20-30 years!

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And this?

The reason I am asking is, can such an initiative be scaled without you having to depend grant/philantrophy? The max impact, I guess, will be when communities do this on their own vs being pushed by outsiders?

Rightly understood - community incentive is the creation of food bank and the forest trees give them economically viable forest produce like neem, lemons, bamboo etc.

Nithin - its amazing that you ask this - presently I have chalked an exit strategy where post initial boost, locals will manage the plantation/ forest with no further intervention from us which will also allow us to scale in bigger proportions. We might continue be knowledge mentors.

Thoughts on your second point - the ideal situation although in this landscape with soil degradation and loss of biodiversity with less to no income among locals from cultivation too[ mostly migrants], I have a plan which I discussed with Sameer on how total empowerment can be achieved.

Happy to discuss the same with you too.


Thanks Divya. Will take an update from @sameershisodia. Will jump in on the next call you have with the team.

That would be great! Will wait for the discussion. Thanks

We usually dont have any scheduled team calls but happy to have one for this specific discussion.