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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Punjab NGO adopts Japanese afforestation technique

As a knowledge-sharing partner of the state government, Eco-Sikh has started work on 20 sites for dense plantation of native species of trees and shrubs.

punjab Updated: Jul 26, 2019 12:13 IST
Vishal Joshi
Vishal Joshi
Hindustan Times, Mansa
A sapling being planted as per the Japanese concept of Miyawaki afforestation at Khokar Kalan village in Mansa, Punjab.
A sapling being planted as per the Japanese concept of Miyawaki afforestation at Khokar Kalan village in Mansa, Punjab. (Sanjeev Kumar / HT Photo )
         

Eco-Sikh, a global Sikh organisation committed to environmental protection, is working to promote afforestation across Punjab using a Japanese Miyawaki technique. Named after Japanese botanist and plant ecologist Akira Miyawaki, the Miyawaki method of afforestation requires a small piece of land at any place to grow a mini-forest.

District coordinator of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) Mandeep Singh said no fertilisers, weedicide or pruning is used as the vegetation is completely allowed to grow naturally under the concept.

Work starts on 20 sites

As a knowledge-sharing partner of the state government, Eco-Sikh has started work on 20 sites for dense plantation of native species of trees and shrubs. This has been named as Guru Nanak Pavittar Jungles to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the first Sikh master.

The latest in this series is starting work to create ‘green lungs’ at Khokar Kalan village, 8km from district headquarters. District authorities have identified an area of sand dune of a rural gaushala for the mini-forest project. An area of 200 square meter is used to plant 550 varieties of trees and shrubs, including arjun, semal, jamun and falsa.

Mandeep added, “It has been taken as a pilot project in the district. A similar project undertaken at Bathinda’s Gill Patti village in January has recorded 100% survival rate. If in Mansa, it gives the desired result, more such forest covers will be developed under the MGNREGS.”

Pavneet Singh, assistant manager, Eco-Sikh, said that the Guru Nanak Pavittar Jungles are part of an exhortation to people to adhere to the teachings of Guru Nanak and achieve a greener state by the 550th Parkash Utsav this year.

He added that the pan-Punjab project will contribute to curbing the challenge of depletion of groundwater and loss of green cover. “Trees are being grown as per the local climatic and soil conditions and dense plantation allows growing of grass and shrubs. The concept helps in the natural growth of moths, frogs and other wildlife that are bio-indicators of a healthy environment,” he said.

“Besides the state forest department, voluntary contributions by public and corporate sponsorships are being used for similar projects in others states and another at Kasur in Pakistan,” he added.

Caption

Sanjeev Kumar/HT

First Published: Jul 26, 2019 12:13 IST

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