Large trees play a critical role in provisioning of economically important and climate regulating ecosystem services such as water, non-timber forest produce and carbon to millions of people in tropical countries of the world. In absence of clear conservation policy and poor understanding of their importance in supporting sustainable societies, these trees are facing imminent threat. The project will take measures to avoid indiscriminate felling of 1000 large trees in the Western Ghats of India
Deforestation is one of major contributors to climate change besides causing significant loss of biodiversity. It has been observed that large trees are often the first targets for felling due to their economic value. Many trees however are being felled for short term gains without any knowledge about their value. In the Western Ghats of India felling of a single large tree threatens survival of 35 different plants, deprives many rare birds, mammals, butterflies and honeybees of their habitat.
The project will take concrete and pragmatic actions to avoid felling of high conservation value large trees in the Western Ghats. a) Surveys will be carried out to map and select trees b) Owners of the trees will be identified c) Incentives and conservation action necessary will be discussed with the owner d) Public meeting will be held for distribution of incentives e) Information boards and fences will be put up near the trees selected for conservation f) Blogs posted about the initiative.
The project will provide significant benefits for conservation of many different and rare species - plants, birds, mammals, insects, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians. This is due to the fact that a single large tree is an ecosystem in itself. If supported fully, 1000 families of marginal farmers will get direct benefits from conservation of large trees. Saving large trees will conserve perennial water streams, support pollination and sequester large amount of carbon from air.