ONGOING ACTIVITIES

CONSERVATION OF TROPICAL FRUIT TREES:

Western Ghats, a global biodiversity hotspot is not just a treasure trove but also a major source of livelihood for millions who live in and around this important eco-region of the world. However, the lopsided economic policies have been responsible for the drastic decline in natural resources and thereby affecting the economic well-being of a large number of people. This in turn has also been responsible for the loss in species of great value, especially to the farmers and dependent forest communities. These include a variety of flora which once provided as a source of livelihood. (For ex: Garcinia, Mango & Citrus varieties, which are commonly found in other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand). The current project aims at identifying different varieties of the above-mentioned species, documenting traditional knowledge; adding value to products and helping the community rebuild traditional practices and enhance their economic independence.

 

Awareness & Education :

: One of the key components of the project is to create awareness among all sections of community to enable documentation of traditional knowledge and best practices that ware once followed. Interactive sessions at village level, awareness programmes at schools, community sessions and similar knowledge sharing workshops are being carried out to enable scientific documentation and compilation of best practices available with the community. Awareness exercises and field based sessions form an important component.

Field Research:

Following these awareness programmes are actual documentation activities on field in selected areas. Interactions with farmers, forest produce collectors, traders and with markets are carried out to gather specific information to arrive at a comprehensive conservation action plan. This is combined with the socio-economic study along with a survey to document traditional knowledge, compile best practices, prepare conservation plan and design a replicable conservation model.

Eco-Restoration:

In addition to the awareness building and field research another focal area of the project is to implement the learning on field therefore enabling the restoration of traditional skills, knowledge and practices with respect to the present context and keeping in view the ecological and economic sustainability. Experimental plots are identified and select farmers / community members are provided resources to implement the activities. Frequent monitoring is carried out to observe and document results. Climatic conditions and ecosystem health play an important role in determining the results and thus the target groups are supported with required field assistance and resources.

Communication Package:

Apart from field surveys, studies and interactions a basic set of project communication material is being designed. This is to spread the message about the project and the need for the community to participate in such exercises. The communication material contain all relevant information required to gather data and to replicate it elsewhere. In addition success stories and case studies will also be compiled.