Nov 20, 2017

How much does it cost to save a large tree ?

Protection of giant trees in Village Sangave
Protection of giant trees in Village Sangave

Dear Supporter,

Greetings from AERF!

In the last quarter, AERF field team made some good progress in putting in place a long term measure for protecting 4 large trees in village Sangave. The team after due consultation with local community members erected  barbed wire fence around 4 large trees. Out of these 3 trees are of Terminalia bellirica species and one is Ficus religiosa.

The primary purpose was conserve the undergrowth, understand the divesity of the plants growing under these trees and role of big birds such as Hornbill or other frugivores in dispersal of the seeds of these plants. Till last year , all the small and medium grown plants were grazed or trampled by cattle from the village and there was no other way of saving the regenerated plants. This experiment will help the supporters of this initiative to understand how saving giant trees can contribute to growing and conservation of other plants and the relation of birds and other animals with these giant trees.

All in all we had to spend about USD 600 on barbed wire fencing of the 4 large trees which comes to average USD 150/ giant tree! Now this is what we learn when we actually start working on the ground and understand real challenges of conserving these giants. That we are asking only USD 50 per tree is not the point of discussion here. It is about reporting facts. 

In another village called Kalambaste, AERF field team discussed protection of large specimen of Terminalia bellirica.

This tree has a GBH ( girth at breast height) of 5.2 meters and its height is 22 meters. It needs to clarified that by putting in place a mechanism for conservation of such giant trees, we are avoiding the natural history and cultural practices associated with such trees being wiped out. This is in addition to the ecosystem services offered by such trees for example offering habitats to many number of birds, bee hives and canopy dependent mammals such as monkeys. We are happy to report that the local community members have shown interest in participating in protection of this large tree and area around it. AERF team is in process of documenting the natural history of this tree in consultation with loca knowledge holders.

Just a small addition, all these trees that we are now protecting have been mapped and tagged with GPS in the previous quarters.

We all know by now that conservation of each giant tree comes up with a new challenge and it reminds us about the value of patience and slow but steady progress.. Thus we need to devise different mechanisms and ensure that our communication about the goal is very clear across board for making it happen on the ground.

In the next quarter we will be reporting on how we are using insurance scheme for immovable properties for avoiding felling of giant trees. So please stay tuned!

We are nearing thanks giving week in the USA and thus it is our duty to express gratitude towards nature for its untiring yomen service to human beings.

We should always remember that healthy environment is critical for ensuring better quality of our life.

Best regards

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Protection of giant trees in Village Sangave-2
Protection of giant trees in Village Sangave-2
Protection of giant trees in Village Sangave-3
Protection of giant trees in Village Sangave-3
Kalambaste giant-01
Kalambaste giant-01
Kalambaste giant-02
Kalambaste giant-02
Aug 22, 2017

Can insurance save giant trees in Western Ghats ?

Tree insurance-01
Tree insurance-01

Greetings!

In the last quarter, the AERF field team chartered into an unknown territory for saving giant trees- insurance.

Our experience and interactions with local communities have made one thing clear- a very convincing arugment behind felling a giant tree is that it will cause serious damage to the owner's property and potential harm to his life.

The fact that such incidences are very uncommon is often overlooked. In order to deal with this formidable challenge, AERF team discussed the idea of insuring the house of the giant tree owner against damage to his property from the tree. This was additional support offered by us in addition to the incentive for his decision to keep the tree standing. That seem to have worked wonders!

The owner didn't anticipate that we would go that far to save a tree . It all happened in village Vanzole in Sangameshwar block in Ratnagiri district where a marginal farmer and a giant tree owner- was all set to chop down his tree for it would cause damage to his house and harm to his family.

AERF team has thus not only saved a giant tree of Terminalia bellirica but also pilot tested the use market based mechanism- insurance for biodiversity conservation through this initiative. This could be first of its kind of an effort where an insurance scheme is directly contributing to conservation. This approach needs to be further explored and more evidence needs to be created for its promotion on larger scale. 

In addition, a group of students from Earth Expeditions India program of Miami University, Ohio visited the Key biodiversity Area from village Kirbet in Sangameshwar block to see a population of giant trees currently being saved through GlobalGiving project. Some 6 participants of Earth Expedition India program 2016 have supported the Giant tree campaign. Thus it was reassuring for the Earth Expedition students and instructors to see the work that is being done to save the giant trees on the ground in the Northern Western Ghats.

While we are making slow but steady progress on the ground for saving the giant trees, we would truly appreciate your further support to this high impact initiative. As the initial enthusiam in the campaign in terms of support wears out, we want you to make your commitment stronger.

Best regards

Jayant Sarnaik

Tree insurance-02
Tree insurance-02
Incentive distribution-Giant tree
Incentive distribution-Giant tree
Earth Expedition visit-01
Earth Expedition visit-01
Earth Expedition visit-02
Earth Expedition visit-02
May 22, 2017

Assessing the habitat study of giant trees

AERF team carried out community surveys and habitat study of 50 giant trees from Sangameshwar block in Ratnagiri district in Northern Western Ghats. The study clearly shows the immense ecological value of the big trees. As many as 82 different bird species were documented that are using these trees as habitat, 20 species of butterflies were also documented.

Some of the trees documented were as old as 300 years! The social surveys revealed that quite few owners were understanding the importance of these giant trees while some of those are bit uncertain and were thinking of selling the trees. Through rewards and incentives the project will be able to deal with those confusions and misunderstandings effectively.

In the next quarter we will approach the community representatives and individual owners for felicitating them for keeping those trees standing over generations. Your small support will prove yet again vital to keep those giants standing for ever. Thus do consider supporting this campaign as we have a target of saving 1000 trees.

Last but most important, 3 of our individual donors - Mr.Shyam Kane, Mr. Eduard Niesten and Ms. Ann Armbrecht all of them from USA visited our project region and actually saw the Giants and understood first why we need to preserve them.


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