Rajkot is the 4th largest city in Gujarat with an area of over 170 sq. km and a population of over 1.5 million. With a proactive municipality and 115 registered smart societies in 23 wards, no substantial work has been showcased by them to manage their own waste. Rajkot generates over 550 tonnes waste / day while the extent of segregation is only about 15.7% (ICLEI, 2016) with per capita waste of over 300 grams / day, out of which 40 % is wet waste (RMC, 2018). Though door to door collection has been started since 2015, the un-segregated waste lands up in two official landfills of Rajkot viz 1) Nakrawadi ( 30 acres | 80000MT) which is already filled and overflowing since several years (NGT 2013 ) for which the municipal corporation has already been fined by Gujarat Pollution Conrol Board (GPCB) and 2) Manda Dungar ( 2.5 acres) (RMC, 2018). In-spite of wet and dry waste segregation campaign started in 2017 the collection vans still get mixed waste due to careless attitude of waste generators towards waste management. What has been found as failure of waste segregation at source is also lack of handholding, awareness of what and why of waste segregation and how to treat wet waste at source and planning for better execution. Moreover there has been no strict penalty to impose the changes and thus the laxity in attitude of people towards segregating and treating waste. ICLEIs GHG inventory of Rajkot city suggests that emission from residential and waste itself contributes to about 25% of total GHG emissions (ICLEI, 2016). So if there is yearly increase of 5% annually (Chary, 2013) and with no scientifically made landfill to store the waste there are chances of not only air, water and land pollution but also avoidable carbon emissions from the anaerobic digestion of wet waste leading to methane (CH4) emissions while unwanted health epidemic waiting to be unfolded. CH4 emissions are (56 times for 20 lifetime years and 21 for 100 yrs) lethal that CO2 emissions. (UNFCCC 2018).
This is a descript account of Rukhal village of Dediapada taluka in Narmada district where with the help of AKRSP NGO they carried out Joint Forest Management (JFM) with community engagement 23 years ago. This article describes the positive contribution of the JFM and intervening NGOs efforts for community betterment by rejuvenating the degraded forest land jointly and does not cover the pros-cons of Joint forest management (Many articles pertaining to same are given in further readings.)
Rajkot has barely 4 % green cover of its geographical area as per tree census of 2011, about 10 trees per 100 persons i.e. 0.1 tree / person which is way below national average of 28 trees per person (Canada has as high as 8953 trees /person). While Gujarati’s are famous for its philanthropic activity of feeding animals, birds, ants, the habit of over feeding at various places and predominantly around base of trees is found to be detrimental for not only trees but also human health as it invites rodents. These rodents find safe haven and create burrows beneath trees leading to loosening of root binding capacity of soil and eventually builds the case of loss of mature trees as the trees loses its capacity to sustain even a small storm. Nasa recorded 2017 as the hottest year without El nino effect which can be attributed to global warming. Surely 2018 is going to surpass 2017 records. Increasing climatic changes is leading to more number and more intensity heat waves. Presence of trees improves the micro-climate, provides shade and act like a water sponge apart from supporting bio-diversity. Thus with less number of old and mature trees, tree deprived Rajkot is going to be severely affected by not only increasing order of climatic changes but also a health scare facing impending terror of rodent activity. Is faith based feeding activity at the base of mature trees good for environment then? This is an action research project based on empirical evidences where we try to find why and the how of this activity and whether and how it causes harm to such big trees infested with excess food and what can be the alternatives such that faith is not hampered and environment not disturbed. This is first of its kind study in this city which will hold significance in terms of understanding our habitat and habits and in-turn bringing right kind of positive changes to protect our existing green heritage.
More about this research here
News Paper article based on this research appearing on 25-6-2018 here
With the lessons learnt from last years seed ball making and dispersal event, we had tried to modify the way we conducted the seed ball and seed dispersal event this time.
Tree plantation is an easy strategy to cater to climate change mitigation as well as aid in climate change adaptation. In order to cover the vast tracts of barren and degraded lands with relative ease, rather than tree plantation, seed balls are planted or scattered in the vast tracts of land and left to nature to do its regeneration works. This activity is most preferred before arrival of monsoons. Benefit of seed balls scattering over scattering the bare seeds is that the chances of seeds being consumed by rodents or birds or other insects is avoided, also seed balls wont roll away easily or be blown away by winds or flown away by water easily and thirdly they will only germinate when rain has fallen and conditions are favourable for seeds to germinate. Thus if we look at resource efficiency and outcome it makes perfect sense to work on seed balls as chances of germination and making the barren land green are much higher with lesser effort. Continue reading
Tree plantation is an easy strategy to cater to climate change mitigation as well as aid in climate change adaptation.
A tree plantation drive was organized to commemorate Earth Day 22nd April, Sunday at Sh Vinoba Bhave Pri Govt School no. 93 at Rajkot, Gujarat, India. It was citizen driven initiative with support from government and private entity.
The idea to bring in citizen participation was three fold- one to enhance green cover at the school premises thus also help in not only carbon sequestration but also greater water retention apart from providing nutritional value to the school kids of Government school.