‘A forest on a cent’ to regain green spaces

A patch of natural forest in Pazhoor, Piravom municipality, in Ernakulam district.

A patch of natural forest in Pazhoor, Piravom municipality, in Ernakulam district.  

Drive launched in north division of Pazhoor in Piravom municipality

“Nothing is impossible. It is possible to bring up a forest, square inch by square inch,” says Benny V. Varghese, an environmental enthusiast and a higher secondary school teacher in Piravom.

He is heading a campaign by people to establish green belts around their living spaces; not as big enterprises, but as little islands of imagination.

Each family or each volunteer is encouraged to leave alone a cent of land in their holdings so that natural greenery comes up on it. The space will gradually develop into a naturally-occurring forest.

“We don’t plant trees or intervene in anyway in the process of nature,” says Mr. Varghese, explaining the concept.

He says he came upon the concept while he was in the tribal heartland of Attappady in Palakkad district some time ago.

Twenty-five plots of land, ranging in area between one cent and five cents, have been voluntarily contributed by people to turn these spaces into natural forest.

The efforts have been launched in the north division of Pazhoor in Piravom municipality.

The spaces are marked by biofencing. Changes occurring in these “reserve” spaces are recorded visually and explained to people as a lesson in regaining the green spaces we have lost, he adds.

In Attappady

The environmentalist says the Attappady experience was an eye-opener. Over a period of five years, the Attappady Hill Area Development Society left a substantial parcel of land for natural forest to develop. Changes on the land were recorded and studied as the gradual development of the biodiversity spot took place. Mr. Varghese says that the effort resulted in the Kabani river coming back to life in summer after a long time.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 3:02:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/a-forest-on-a-cent-to-regain-green-spaces/article31682431.ece

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