Tree plantations have somehow become a much glorified 'eco'-action. Come monsoon and large tracks' landscapes undergo trenching and plantations. This can do more harm than good as with the grasslands around Pune. In this landscape, where we have regular records of Wolf, Fox, Hyena, many bird, reptile and amphibian species that can live only in the grassland ecosystem, trenching can have the most adverse effects. Most often, a mix of forest trees is planted in a scrubland where the dominant species are all thorny bushes, trees and grasses. The exercise is doubly futile. It disrupts the current ecosystem and the planted trees have an extremely low chance of survival in these conditions. We need our grasslands, and we need to acknowledge their immense contribution as an eco-system that provides us clean air and water. The fanatic attitude about 'tree plantation' needs to be re-educated.
Recently, as a part of The Grasslands Trust activities, we had a fruitful interaction with villagers regarding grassland restoration. The conservation efforts will lead to long-term solutions for good quality grazing grass and work fundamentally towards water conservation through ecosystem revival. A fantastic beginning to building win-win solutions for man-animal peaceful and bountiful coexistence!
Please remember: Everyone can initiate this locally by opening talks with people who are doing plantations in dry arid regions with no topsoil to support big trees!
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