In an effort of increasing green cover and creating job opportunities for the women and tribals, Vodafone India and Grow-Trees, Indian partner for United Nation’s Environment Program’s Billion Tree Campaign, today announced the completion of planting 200,000 trees on 200 hectares of forest land.
Under this project, by the next year 100,000 more trees will be planted over 300 hectares in the forests of Kanha Tiger Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh and Pench Wildlife Reserve in Maharashtra.
Launched in August 2014, in the first and second phases, 100,000 saplings each were planted near Rata and Devdara villages in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh. It will improve the wildlife corridor between both wildlife reserves.
This project will create about 25,000 workdays of direct jobs mainly for women and tribals inhabiting the area in addition to supporting several allied livelihood generating activities such as farming, fruit and honey gathering among others on a sustainable basis. A variety of trees, including Karani, Harra, Baheda, Bamboo, Khamer, Ladiya, Mango and Amla, that are local to the region will be planted.
Highlighting the details about Vodafone’s support to the project, Manish Kumar – Business Head, MPCG, Vodafone India, said, “We are committed to support sustainable initiatives that benefit all – the organisation, the community and the environment. With this initiative, we are able to add to support the conservation of its flora and fauna and facilitate habitat connectivity in tiger breeding areas. In addition, we will also create livelihood opportunities for local communities, enable reforestation and offset carbon footprint generated by our offices every year for 3-years.”
Speaking on the occasion, Bikrant Tiwary, CEO, Grow-Trees said, “Approximately 45 percent of India’s land is degraded due to deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, mining and excessive groundwater extraction. More than two thirds of this can be regenerated and our endeavour is to facilitate this by providing planting opportunities to individual and corporate customers. We are delighted to have Vodafone India as our corporate partner to support this project of wildlife corridors for enlarging wildlife habitats.”
Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and Pench Tiger Reserve straddling Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are important habitats for the tiger population in central India. As tigers need large home ranges to ensure population viability, it is important to ensure habitat connectivity between different breeding areas. The Kanha– Pench corridor therefore gains high importance in the efforts to save the tiger and other wildlife.