ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Reviving the Land: India’s Bold Efforts to Combat Desertification and Restore Ecosystems on World Environment Day

Indian Masterminds brings to light stories focused on combating desertification and land degradation, while also celebrating the shared commitment of individuals and communities to environmental conservation. These tales inspire hope and motivate actions toward a sustainable future.
Indian Masterminds Stories

Today is World Environment Day, and the world is celebrating. This year’s theme for World Environment Day is “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience.” According to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, up to 40 percent of the planet’s land is degraded, directly affecting half of the world’s population. Thus, the work towards restoration is really needed.

In India, forest officers are striving hard to address and resolve this issue. On this day, stories of their resilience and restoration efforts echo across the country, showcasing the extraordinary steps taken to revive and protect our natural world.

In the Nashik district of Maharashtra, a critical grassland has been revived from the remnants of an ecosystem that had almost entirely vanished by the years 2018-19. Previously devoid of vegetation and abandoned by wildlife, the area had become an arid wasteland. The Nashik Forest Department embarked on the herculean task of restoring this land, successfully transforming over 300 hectares within the Mamdapur Conservation Reserve into a thriving grassland, now bustling with life and attracting various species.

Simultaneous efforts in Rudraprayag, led by IFS officer Vaibhav Singh, have introduced innovative restoration techniques, such as jute geotextile mats, to rejuvenate damaged grasslands. This project not only restores native grass cover but also enhances rainwater harvesting, demonstrating a holistic approach to environmental restoration.

In Odisha, the Sambalpur Forest Division has surpassed national forest cover targets, thanks to proactive leadership and community involvement. With over 4,000 hectares of land planted or restored, DFO Vishwanath Neelannavar’s initiatives, including Miyawaki forests and rocky hill plantations, have significantly advanced forest conservation efforts and bolstered local livelihoods.

In Himachal Pradesh’s industrial town of Paonta Sahib, community waste management issues were rampant until the transformation of an open dumping zone into a nature park began. Initiated by DFO Kunal Angrish and further developed by DCF Aishwarya Raj, this project highlights the effectiveness of local administration and stringent environmental regulations in reclaiming and beautifying degraded lands.

These narratives from across India underscore the collective dedication of individuals and communities toward environmental conservation, inspiring hope and action for a sustainable future. Read these stories here-

Lost and Found, The Tale of Nashik’s Critical Grassland

Grasslands are common to any forest area, but the one in Nashik district of Maharashtra is a critical one. Why? Because it is located in an area which had seen a gradual decline in its eco-system, it lost it completely in 2018-19. Devoid of shrubs, plants and trees, the area became an arid land shunned by living species.

So it fell upon the shoulders of the Nashik Forest Department to take up the mammoth responsibility of restoring this land and turning it green once again. Accordingly, a grassland was developed in more than 300 hectare of area under the Mamdapur Conservation Reserve, for restoration of forest land, which is critical for bringing back herbivores.

Story Link: Lost and Found, The Tale of Nashik’s Critical Grassland

Grassland Restoration in the Hills: Using Jute Geotextile Mat as Band Aid on Damaged Grass Surface

Among the many milestones achieved by the Rudraprayag Forest Division under the leadership of IFS officer, Vaibhav Singh, grassland restoration is a significant one. Over the years, he has successfully restored damaged grasslands and promoted the growth of native grass cover. For the restoration, innovative techniques like using jute geotextile mats have been introduced which are yielding very good results.

Story Link: Grassland Restoration in the Hills: Using Jute Geotextile Mat as Band Aid on Damaged Grass Surface

Turning Rocky Hill Land Into Green Land in Sambalpur 

Forests are important not only to save the environment but also to generate economic opportunities. According to the National Forest Policy, 33% of land should be forest. Odisha has already exceeded this target by achieving 34% of forest land. The efforts of Sambalpur forest division has been crucial in this milestone. The division has been appreciated for its efforts in forest protection and conservation, and also for becoming the best performing division in providing livelihood opportunities under the Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project. 

Story Link: Turning Rocky Hill Land Into Green Land in Sambalpur 

How An Open Dumping Ground in Paonta Sahib Became The Yamuna Riverfront 

Founded by Sikh Guru Gobind Singh and situated on the banks of Yamuna river, Paonta Sahib is an industrial town in Himachal Pradesh with a rich history. It is dotted with many big industries, including cement and pharmaceutical, which explains the fairly large population in the town. And, due to this, waste management has always been a major issue here.

For a very long time, there used to be a lot of open dumping of the entire town’s non-segregated waste in forest land along the river banks, leading to degradation and foul smell as well as being hazardous for nearby residents. The issue was getting so big that in 2022, the then District Forest Officer Kunal Angrish initiated the conversion of the open dumping zone into a nature park, and with help from the local administration, initiated strict action with fine on open dumping.

Story Link: How An Open Dumping Ground in Paonta Sahib Became The Yamuna Riverfront 


Indian Masterminds Stories

Related Stories

News

UPSC (Resized)
UPSC to Implement Biometric Tech to Combat Exam Fraud
ministry-of-petroleum-and-natural-gas
Petronet LNG Ltd Reports 40% Increase in Q1 Net Profit Amid Higher Gas Volumes
SAIL resized
SAIL's Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) Distributes Assistive Devices to Divyangjans under CSR Initiative
Untitled design (17)
ITS Officer L B Lal Returned to His Parent Cadre
govt_assam_resized
Assam: IAS Ajay Tewari Relieves Aruna Rajoria & Takes Up Additional Charge As Chairman, State Level Recruitment Commission for Class-III Post
Ministry of Coal (resized)
"There Will Be Ample Supply Of Coal To Power, Fertilizers, And Non-Regulated Sectors," Assures Coal Ministry
jitendra-singh-resized
"Nearly 1200 Candidates From Backward Categories Were Recruited By UPSC In Last 5 Years," Shares Union Minister Jitendra Singh
IFS Officer Mayank Joshi 1
IFS Mayank Joshi Appointed Next High Commissioner of India to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Videos

Tripti Kalhans
How a Year-Long Break Helped Tripti Kalhans Ace the UPSC Exam
WhatsApp Image 2024-07-23 at 13.45
The Tax Man Who Turned Concrete Jungles Green: Rohit Mehra's Incredible Journey
Raveendran
A Selfish Motive: Raveendran Sankaran’s Personal Drive Behind Bihar’s Sports Success
ADVERTISEMENT
Latest
Latest
Sweet Corn Purnea
Purnea's Sweet Corn Revolution: Transforming Farms into Profitable Ventures
UPSC (Resized)
UPSC to Implement Biometric Tech to Combat Exam Fraud
ADVERTISEMENT
Videos
Videos
Tripti Kalhans
WhatsApp Image 2024-07-23 at 13.45
Raveendran
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT