Save The Planet Organizations

Save The Planet Organizations

Of late, there has been a lot of noise about saving the planet, doing something about the climate change. Scientists and Environmentalists across the globe are trying to figure various ways of reducing factors that cause global warming. Apart from them, there are so many save the planet organizations that are devoted to the cause. At this juncture, it is ridiculous to ask if the clock ticking. Of course, it is. The history of possible shift in the climate i.e. increase or decrease, in the temperature of the Earth, goes back to late 1890’s. Back in 1896, Swedish Scientist, Svante Arrhenius calculated that cutting CO2 in half would suffice to produce an ice age. He further calculated that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 would give a total warming of 5–6 degrees Celsius.

By mid-20th century, the concern grew stronger and the scientists across the world began to acknowledge that the human emissions could be disruptive to the climate by the next century. By early 80s, gradually a common understanding and consensus started to build. And then in 1988, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established. Gradually, several other non-governmental projects and organizations came up to save the planet from the climate change and its effects, primarily caused by human way of life and other causes by and large.

While the governments of different countries were creating policies and laws for environment conservation,mid-20th century onwards, several save the planet organizations were formed by various groups of people, companies, institutions and individual across the world by late 70s and early 80s. “The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, was a milestone event for the planet. An estimated 20 million people took to the streets across the U.S. to raise awareness about the impacts of human activities on the environment.” (March 20, 2019, National Geographic)

One of the pioneers among save the planet organizations is Earth First!.It was founded in 1980 in South-West America by 5 environmentalists and activists, focusing Environment Protection by taking direct action in terms of research, publishing journals and spreading awareness campaigns, advocacy conferences and workshops and other activities. It is operational today in 19 countries including India. In 1980 itself there were 12 other organizations that got established in different parts of the world, taking up different streams of save the planet causes like wild life conservation, forest conservation, saving the whales, animal welfare etc.

India was still a young country to realize its contribution in environment degradation and the need to save the planet and create organizations for the same. In 1972, India did participate in United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in June and the decisions were taken to provide for the protection and improvement of environment. Sadly, it took Bhopal Gas Tragedy to open the eyes and Environment Protection Act, 1986 was passed finally. However, on forest protection and conservation, Indian history goes back to Indian Forest Act, 1927 under British Empire, then Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 was passed and further amended in 1988.

Apart from the government’s initiatives and provisions, the real history goes back to 1700s when the Bishnoi movement happened. The Chipko Movement in 1973 by Mr. Bahuguna, Save the silent valley in 1978 by KSSB and Sugathakumari, the Jungle Bachao in 1982 to save Saal Forest, Appiko, Narmada Bachao, Tehari Dam Conflict were some very important milestones to name a few. One of the oldest save the planet organizations that are working for nature conservation, research and awareness in India is Bombay Natural History Society which was established in 1883. There are several popular name like WWF-India, Greenpeace India, Center for Science and Environment, Wildlife Trust of India that have been working in India to save and restore the nature. But let us also understand the these save the planet organizations are not all NGOs or nonprofits. The latest concept of a socially sustainable enterprise with profits can also be key game changers like Afforest, SayTrees, HelpUsGreen, The Ugly Indian, The Living Greens etc. Time is to think out of the box and bringsimple ideas to saving the planet to fruition by creating organizations and make them sustainable and impactful. Keeping things simple and going in the direction restoring the environment and nature must be the core if we realize that the clock is ticking.










Afforestation & Reforestation Projects in India

Afforestation & Reforestation Projects in India

It is a well-known fact that forests are being eradicated at a speed which is unimaginable to a common eye. And ever since it has been identified and acknowledged globally by different organizations and institutions, lots of large and small scale forest conservation projects started across the world. The most common commotion is to plant more trees. The situation grew graver over the period of time and only tree plantation wasn’t enough. So, it was figured that we do need to plant trees but the plantations should be strategic, specific and should result in fully grown trees to regenerate the bionetwork around us. And gradually planting trees took shape of afforestation and reforestation and several projects were started all over the world including India.

The need of today is to increase carbon capture and carbon sequestration, decrease soil degradation, have better and regular rain cycles and improve biodiversity anthropogenically, in order to normalize our planet’s environmental disbalance. Afforestation and reforestation are looked upon as the most viable and effective solution to this. Afforestation is creation of forest cover in a land where there are no trees. Reforestation is a solution to increase the density of existing forest covered land, especially to recover the patches where trees got cut down. Both processes help to mitigate the climate change situations, reduce air pollutants, and reestablish the ecosystems and natural habitats.

India is a country with extreme geographies and weather conditions and hence the biodiversity of the country also varies. We have Himalayas to oceans and deserts to dense rain forests and world’s second largest population to feed as well. And it is implied that our contribution to ecological disbalance is also significant. Indian government has been working on this through various schemes since 1951. Centrally several schemes and projects were running but in 2000-2001 all the afforestation and reforestation projects in India were integrated to form National Afforestation Program Scheme at the same time to keep the focus on decentralizing the implementation plan. NAP is being implemented through the 2-tier structure of the forest department at the division and village levels. The programs has core components like forest planning in terms of places, variety of plants as per geography, key focus areas like increasing forest density and plantations in barren lands and awareness and training programs for the villagers or locals so they live in coordination with the nature around them.

The history of Forest protection and conservation in India goes back to organized revolutions like Vishnois in Rajasthan, The tribal communities in MP, Chhattisgarh, North-eastern states and islands like Andman’s and LakshDweep. Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act was passed in 2016 to wisely release the money collected as a fee from the companies that remove the forests to construct buildings, to be utilized for reforestation by forest department. Green India Mission by 2020 was also established in 2010. So there are several afforestation and reforestation projects in India that are initiated and are being implemented by government of India. But then there are so many other not for profit and for profit organizations, which are dedicated to restoring the biodiversity in the country. Organizations like Chirag, and Alaap are working specifically on the cause alongside the government in the state of Uttarakhand.

Then there are individual environmentalists like Sundar Lal Bahuguna, Vandana Shiva, Anadish Pal, Chandi Lal Bhatt, Sugatha Kumari, Maneka Gandhi who have initiated and executed several drives across the country and then there are some new age change leaders like Vijay Dashmana and Shubhendu Sharma. Dashmana consults the local authorities on developing biodiversity in and around urban areas in Haryana and Rajasthan. And Shubhendu started Afforestt that created so many forests in the country. The major challenge that we face in our country is the unavailability of authentic primary data about the real time impact and results of all the projects that are being implemented through out India for afforestation and deforestation.

For afforestationand reforestation projects, a lot of resources like funds, work and efforts of governmental and non-governmental bodies, individuals and companies working for the cause, are being invested in the mission of Green India but a lot of good work gets missed out because either it is not reported properly, or its implementation fails. We miss either on the planning part or on the implementation aspect. But what we majorly miss upon is taking up the responsibility that we are losing forests in because of forest fire and in the name of development. “Forest cover in the country has increased by about 1 per cent, according to the biennial State of Forests Report 2017 released this year, but Niti Aayog says 21.23 per cent of the land is under forest cover.” DTE Reports. It also reports that in December 2018, “The Supreme Court on December 11 expressed its displeasure on being informed that no proposal even after 12 years has been received for 21 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries for declaring areas around them as eco-sensitive zones and directed MoEF to declare an area of 10 kms around these national parks and sanctuaries as Eco Sensitive Zones.”

While there are numerous afforestation and reforestation projects are being implemented in India and some real good work on the ground is happening, let’s not miss out on the larger picture. The mechanism is in place to check the progress and numbers in this regard but ratio of increase in forest canopies and the increase on the different factors like dense forest canopies and very dense forest canopies is a matter of concern. We should look at the results by and large while we celebrate small achievements and growth. We also need to understand our roles in in helping various organizations and government to implement these projects. It’s our collective responsibility to create clean and green country to live in. Not just us but our future generations too need the to breath and live healthy life.







The Causes & Effects of Deforestation

The Causes & Effects of Deforestation

When was the last time you thought about planning a Jungle safari? Did it ever occurred to you that why you travel far from you home to enjoy the natural surroundings? Where the jungles nearby have gone? Have you ever heard about Deforestation or forest degradation? Did it ever occurred to you to read, talk or discuss about the causes and effects of Deforestation? Do you know that forests play a major role in keeping the ‘Life’ alive on our planet?

Almost one-third portion of the lands of the Earth are covered by forests of different flora and fauna. They are the prime source of life’s essentials like fresh air, clean water, and fruits & roots for food. Apart from these, we get wood for fire, fuel, furniture, buildings, paper and what not. Looking at them from value to human life perspective, forests give you almost everything food, water, shelter, even employment including adventure and entertainment. They are critical to reduce the effects of CO2 in the atmosphere. But as on date as you read this, these prime source of life on our planet are endangered. Deforestation is happening across the planet and its causes and effects are very visible in front of us if we choose to pay attention.

The danger is not only limited to forest degradation but also covers the extinction of so many species of plants and animals that survive and thrive because of these forests. Deforestation for needs like infrastructure development, agricultural land and increasing needs of large human populations, has begun to show the consequences in terms climate change and pollution of different kinds. It is time for each one of us to understand the causes and effects of deforestation.

The causes of deforestation are many. But primarily, today across the world the forests are being cut for the various uses of timber for the continuously increasing human population on the planet. It is because of human overpopulation the availability of plain lands for infrastructure development, development of highways, and for agriculture is increase. When it comes to the causes and effects of deforestation, then natural forest fires add to this problem majorly. And another major reason is the gap between the rate of deforestation and afforestation. We are unable to match the speed of tree plantations with the speed of trees being cut. It takes 10 to 15 years for an average tree to grow completely. But we overlook at their life and growth span when we cut them. If the causes of deforestation are overlooked its effects will be very devastating.

There are direct and adverse effects of deforestation and its causes. From increased greenhouse gas emissions to disrupted water cycles, to increased soil erosion to disrupted life cycles and shelters, to major effect on climate changes, pollution and degradation of natural resources. We as the common community of living beings are losing lives every single moment. The extinction of flora and fauna is beyond imagination. As per WWF data, ‘We’re losing 18.7 million acres of forests annually, equivalent to 27 soccer fields every minute.’ And this is scary. In order to understand and realize the causes and effects of deforestation in depth we must do more than just reading few articles or feeling sad about it or merely showing concerns.

We’ll have to create forums and spaces where there are open talks and discussions about climate change, pollution, scarcity and degradation of natural resources can be discussed along with the causes and effects of deforestation and forest degradation.

Environment Science has been added in the educational curriculums but that’s not enough as what our kids learn in school they see quite opposite in their respective homes and communities. Unless, we join hands to not only do something about it but first to train our minds that every action has its reaction and every cause will have a direct effect, hence we need to look at our actions as a race or species on the planet and what we really causing for our future generations. Only then we would be able to adopt and ensure green and sustainable lifestyle and eventually put a stop on becoming the cause of deforestation ourselves and save the planets and the lives on it from the effects of it.