| Feb 6, 2020
Connecting People and Giant Trees in Western Ghats
A giant tree from a sacred grove in Wayanad
We all know that fighting a cause as complex as biodiversity conservation needs something more powerful than money- a vibrant ,strong and growing constituency. Building this constituency across culturally diverse landscape such as the Western Ghats is badly required inspite of the challenges. AERF is trying to do this by forging partnerships with local ngos and communities for quite some time.
The campaign of saving 1000 giant trees currently supported by you is galvanising like minded individuals and non-profits from other states of the Western Ghats into joining this initiative like never before. It is serving multiple purposes- it is bringing people together for a common cause- saving Giant trees- and creating much larger impact than perceived at first instance for biodiversity conservation and local communities..
After spending close to 2 and half years in studying Giant trees for conservation, we have understood their unique role in maintaining ecological integrity of the landscape.and sustaining cultural practices of local communities.
In the last quarter, we made an effort to visit the conservation groups from the southern Western Ghats to understand their perception and views about biodiversity conservation and how Giant trees could be help in promoting their mission. To our pleasant surprise, all of them unanimously agreed on the importance of giant trees in conservation of other endangered species viz,Vultures, Bees. They were equally excited about many opportunities Giant trees offer in establishing connect with and evoking awe/ excitement among common people.
We visited four different sites of our potential new partners and our old partner- Junglescapes. We talked to the owners of the Giant trees in Bandipur those have been protected through your help. We also visited giant specimen of an endangered tree species- Hopea ponga in Wayanad, Kerala.
This field visit went off very well thanks to very good organization by our partner of Giant Tree campaign in the southern Western Ghats- Mr.Ramesh Venkatraman and Mr.Hanumanth of JungleScape. We received confirmation from Sigur Nature Trust, Tamlinadu and Forest First Samithi, Wayanad in Kerala for spreading the work of Giant trees conservation at their respective field sites. There is also growing interest in publishing scientific papers on the need to conserve Giant Trees among the Giant Tree community.
This whole experience made me realize that Trees must be talking with communities across in a language that is far more simple and unconditionally.
Othewise how can we find so much an appreciation and resonance among far located and culturally diverse people about Giant trees conservation ?
Profile of Giant tree from southern Western Ghats
Giant tree twins
Talking to the proud Giant Tree owner in Bandipur
Team Junglescape hugging Giant tree in Lokkere
Giant tree conservation partners from South India
Giant Mango tree- Wayanad
Giant trees conservation outreach Bandipur