Business India ×
 Climate Change

Published on: July 21, 2021, 12:35 p.m.
Largest man-made forest to come up in Chhattisgarh
  • Creating carbon sinks to protect the environment

By Business India Editorial

Chhattisgarh is ready to introduce the country's largest man-made forest area, converting 2,500 acres of barren land into a natural habitat at Nandini mines in Durga district, in one of the country's largest ecological restorations. This endeavour is inspired by the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which aims to prevent, halt, and reverse ecosystem degradation, combat climate change, and avert a mass extinction event. 

Steel and cement industries dominate the region, so there isn't much greenery in the twin-city of Bhilai-Durg. As a result, to add a touch of green and strike a balance with the environment, the concept will not only reduce pollution but also revitalise the area's ecosystem.

The project has begun, with the initial plantation work to be done on a stretch of 885 acres of the Nandini mines as part of the first phase, according to the five-year plan. Dense trees with a longer life span, such as Mahua, peepul, and banyan, will be given priority. Nandini is about 25 kilometres from the town of Durg.

Dhammshil Ganvir, divisional forest officer for the Durg range, stated that this was in some ways a contribution to the UN Decade on Ecosystems. He went on to say that they were attempting to resurrect the ecosystem through a scientific approach, with plants from the tropical, dry deciduous forest sub-type serving as an indicator of what to introduce. Nandini will be transformed into a multi-layered forest using the technique of Japanese botanist Miyawaki, with herbs, shrubs, middle and high canopy trees. Where proper planting is not possible, approximately 3,000 seed balls will be used. 

The Miyawaki forest method consists of planting two to four trees per square metre, and the plants mature in two to three years, after which they are ready to self-sustain. They help to lower temperatures, reduce air and noise pollution, attract local birds and insects, and create carbon sinks. 

Following that, the revival of the three ecosystem cycles of water, energy, and nutrients will be implemented through the grasslands, taking care of water harvesting, soil fertility, and air cleaning, according to Ganvir, who added that wildlife will be introduced in the following phases. It may also become an ideal location for bird breeding due to the presence of a wetland that already houses whistling ducks, open-billed storks, and other species.

According to Ganvir, the area will be transformed into an open jungle safari, similar to the ones found in Africa. The initial budget will be around Rs3.37 crore, and this will be India's largest man-made forest. According to records, Assam currently has 1,300 acres of the largest forest.


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