Last Updated:  03/10/2020

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Project Pitch By: AARANYAK

 

Proposed Project Title


Restoring degraded forest in Manas landscape

 

Thematic Area

Ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, wildlife & natural resources conservation

Sub Thematic Area

Natural Resources Conservation

Project Synopsis

The proposed project area is part of greater landscape of the Manas Tiger Reserve which is known as Subankhata Reserve Forest. The area of Subankhata RF 23.37 sq. km. and out of that around 11 sq km area are degraded now due to anthropogenic threats. Human-induced climate change and ecosystem degradation has led to a complex biodiversity crisis generating greater attention to the need for novel, science-based, ecological restoration strategies to foster resilience. Through this proposed project we are planning to restore and rewilding 239 hectares degraded area of Subankhata Reserve Forest under Manas Tiger Reserve. In this area what we are going to do is introduce native species that can ‘re-establish’ trophic interactions and associated trophic cascades to promote self-regulating biodiverse ecosystems.
 
 
 

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
below INR 0.3 Cr
Proposed Location
Subankhata Reserve Forest

Key Project Partners
Academic Institute,NGOs,Gram Panchayat

Project Status
Proposed
 

Facts

Beneficiary Type (Primary): Local Fringe Community
Beneficiary Type (Secondary):
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: 500 - 1000 Families
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done
 
 
 

Proposed Project Description

Project area

The proposed project area is part of greater landscape the Manas Tiger Reserve. It is a reserve forest (RF) and it is known as Subankhata Reserve Forest. The area of Subankhata RF 23.37 sq. km. and out of that around 11 sq km area degraded now due to anthropogenic threats. Through this proposed project we are planning to restore 239 hectares degraded area of Subankhata Reserve Forest under Manas Tiger Reserve.

 

Objective

  • To restore degraded forest reserves to benefit biodiversity

  • To monitor presence of wildlife in restored area

  • To create awareness about conservation of forest and impacts of deforestation like Pandemic COVID-19

 

Timeline: 5 years

 

Activity and methods

Activity 1- Planning involving local communities: To prevent further encroachment or degradation, since beginning we are going to involve local communities in the various stages of restoration process like nursery development and plantation, this will also give employment opportunity to them.

Activity 2- Setting up nursery: A nursery will be setup to raise sapling in order to do restoration work nearby village located outside forest area. The size of the nursery would be around over 5000 sq. meters. Nursery beds will be raised and sheds will be provided with netlon or recycle plastic. Polypots will be used for raising saplings. All the nursery maintenance work like weeding, sorting, watering and taking care of seedlings will be done by involving local youth and womenfolk. Cow dung will be placed as plant nutrient supplement avoiding chemical fertilizers. Once nursery is setup, same will be continued for next 5 years.

Activity 3- Conduct a baseline survey of vegetation: A survey will be conducted before doing the plantation work, it will help set up a baseline. It will be done through sampling method of 25 m x 25 m plot. The 25m x 25m plot will be used for tree and within that 10m x10 m for shrubs and 2 m x 2 m for herb and grasses.

Activity 4- Seed collection: The seed collection will be done from the nearby forest and nearby villages involving volunteers. Since community participation was a core strategy for all project activities, we thought of innovative schemes to involve various groups within the community. School children were the primary focus group for the collection of seeds in the nearby roads. A “Seed Collection” competition will be announced in 2 schools near the project area. School children from different age groups will be asked to collect diversity of seeds from their home yards. Collected seeds were packed and labelled. Apart whole year seed collection drives will be carried out involving villagers for next 3 years.

Activity 5- Raising Saplings: Sapling will be raised in the nursery site with standard beds length L 10 ft X B 5.5 ft. There will be 60 numbers of beds in the nursery and about 75000 thousand saplings will be raised every year.

Activity 6- Plantation site preparation: We are proposed to restore 239 hectares degraded habitat through native tree species plantation. Weeds would be up rooted and cut prior to plantation. Special care will be taken without cutting any naturally regenerating native vegetation. All the site preparation activities will be done by local villagers. This will be done step by step every year for next five years.

Activity 7- Plantation: Seedling will be planted in pits of around 10 cm -15 cm diameter and 10-15 cm depth providing cow dung. The seedlings will be planted at a spacing of 3 meters (to facilitate monitoring). Every year the plantation will start from end of April and continue till July.

Activity 8- Monitoring: Monitoring of restoration site will be done at a regular interval on various aspects such as seedlings survival, regeneration and presence of wildlife etc. etc.

Activity 9- Conservation education programme: Conservation education programme and interactive talks will be organized for farmers, common people of villages, women folk in villages close to Reserve Forest. The main focus of the programme will be impact of deforestation on human wellbeing and pandemic like Covid-19.

 

Measurable indicators

  •  Setting up of nursery is on placed.
  • Baseline vegetation survey is on placed

  • Number of saplings produced in the nursery for plantation

  • Number of local people participated in pre and post plantation activity

  • Percentage of sapling survived after plantation

  • Decreasing rate of illegal activities related to wildlife and forest

  • Knowledge of stakeholders before and after education programmes

  • Community involvement integrated into natural resource planning and management to redress unsustainable resource use in Manas

 

Expected outcome

  • 239 hectares degraded habitat will be restored through native tree species plantation in next 5 years.

  • Community involvement in nurseries and planting activities, which helped gain support from neighbouring communities and offer employment to local community members.

  • Planting of native species to improve soil conditions and reduce run-off and Increased canopy cover and decreased soil erosion.

  • The diversity and abundance of wildlife at restoration site increased significantly.

  • The project will improve the aesthetic value of the forest reserves. It is envisaged that these areas will be used for ecotourism in future.

  • About 3000 people (farmers, students and villagers) will be made aware about importance of forest for human wellbeing through formal and informal meeting, film screening and audio-visual talk.

 
 

Salient Features

  1. 239 hectares degraded habitat will be restored through native tree species plantation in next 5 years.
  2. Community involvement in nurseries and planting activities, which helped gain support from neighbouring communities and offer employment to local community members.
  3. About 3000 people (farmers, students and villagers) will be made aware about importance of forest for human wellbeing through formal and informal meeting, film screening and audio-visual talk.
 

About AARANYAK

Aaranyak is a front ranking environmental research organization in the non-government sector of India having its head office at Guwahati, Assam. Established in the year 1989 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, Aaranyak received recognition as Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO) by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) of Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India in 2006.

 

Since its inception, has been working to foster conservation of biodiversity in North East India through Research & monitoring, Environment Education, training & outreach and advocacy for legal and policy reform to usher a new era of ecological security. Aaranyak at present have 15 divisions which form the core of its conservation strategy.

 

Aaranyak have won many accolades from different organizations and Govt. Dept. around the globe, some of those are RBS ‘Earth Guardian Award 2011’ conferred by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2011, Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Purashkar , by Ministry of Environment and Forest, G.O.I in 2012, Institutional Award in the field of Science and Technology’ in 2017.

 
 

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