What does a tree mean to us? It may be the provider of fruits, nuts, leaves, twigs,timber etc. But is that all?
A tree also:
It is interesting to see how nature works in cycles.
The trinity-soil, plants and water - strengthens each other only in appropriate balanced conditions. If this balance is lost, the result is catastrophic. Therefore, human intervention in the ecosystem should be very carefully executed.
Trees and animals are developed in an area as per the ecosystem. There are aliens and natives among plants. What will be good for our ecosystem? Are the animals playing any substantial role? All the living beings in an ecosystem are connected by a food chain. The destruction of one element in the food chain will impact the food of the next element and so on. The same applies to all living beings in the forest.
Some of the activities mentioned above conform to the subjects of the Panchayats as per the 11thSchedule of the 73rd amendment of the Constitution of India –Social forestry and farm forestry, minor forest production, land improvement, implementation of land reforms, land consolidation and soil conservation, minor irrigation, water management and watershed development.
Towards restoring our eco-system Gram Panchayat can work to:
|PROMOTE||Conservation of micro watersheds and/or identifiable natural units.|
|Community-based management of natural resources including forests, water bodies and sacred groves.|
|Planting of natural vegetation in high-slope areas, barren lands and other common lands.|
|Checking for soil erosion and invasive species.|
|Conservation of wetlands.|
|Nursery raising of local species of flora through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).|
|Green belt development and catchment conservation.|
|INITIATE||Afforestation and protection drives.|
|Steps to make wetland cultivation chemical-free and sustainable.|
|DEVELOP||Bio-diversity register for the Gram Panchayat.|
|Community monitoring system on poaching, illicit felling of trees and checking forest fires.|
|FACILITATE||Renovation of existing ponds.|
|Construction of check-dams and contour bunds in catchments .|
|Cropping patterns linked to landscape.|
|Preparation of list of threatened species of flora and fauna.|
|Estimates of sustainable levels of resources (sand and water).|
|Irrigation, procurement, finance and labour to make wetland cultivation economical.|
|Identification of public lands, common grazing grounds and landslide prone areas.|
|Formation or rejuvenation of standing committees on natural resources, ensuring representation of marginalized groups.|
|PLAN||Pollution monitoring and alleviation steps.|
|Resource-sharing (sand and water) arrangements with scientific water-use pattern.|
|Alternate livelihoods for labour engaged in resource extraction Coordination and convergence of eco-restoration programmes.|
If these are our goals, what are the specific things we should plan to achieve and by when? Can our Gram Panchayat plan for the following?
|Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)|
|Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)|
|Inegrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP)|
|Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)|
|Green India Mission|
|Social forestry schemes|
|National Afforestation Programme|
|National Bamboo Mission|
|Relevant state sponsored schemes and programmes|
Registrants of MGNREGS, traditional farmers and labourers, NGOs, relevant government department officials, academic and research institutions.
The possible steps to be followed if the Gram Panchayat decides to rejuvenate the pond:
Sustainable development Goal 15 - Protect, Restore and Promote Sustainable Use of Terrestrial Ecosystems, Sustainably Manage Forests, Combat Desertification and Halt and Reverse Land Degradation and Halt Biodiversity Loss.
Now look at the goals and targets set by your Gram Panchayat – you are contributing to the Global goal and targets to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reserve land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
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