Over 7 lakh trees planted to preserve
Since 2007, Himalaya has been actively involved in tree planting projects in India. In the first phase of our project, we planted 150,000 trees in Andhra Pradesh.
Our project has since moved to Western Ghats as there is a pressing need to preserve the rich biodiversity of this 1,500 km stretch of natural bounty. Famous for being one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity, these forests house more than 1,500 endemic species of flowering plants, and at least 500 unique species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. There are reports of new species too.
In the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, we have partnered with Society for Environment and Biodiversity Conservation (SEBC), a local organisation engaged in environmental conservation, and planted over 700,000 trees till date. SEBC has a long-standing relationship with the local community and has successfully mobilized them to participate in the programme. As the core members of SEBC are conservationists, they have a deep understanding of the natural flora and fauna. They know which trees are good for the local ecosystem and economically beneficial to the communities. SEBC identifies indigenous plant species that flourish well in this particular region and also suggest the terrains best suited for these saplings, reaching out to communities that can care for them. The trees planted include fruit-bearing, fodder providing, nitrogen fixing plants along with species endemic to the Western Ghats. Since local communities now find tree planting commercially viable, they feel a greater sense of ownership and have a personal interest in ensuring survival of the trees. Today, the project has registered over 80% of survival rates. Each tree on an average offsets 50 pounds of carbon dioxide per year!