Grow-Trees.com and Vodafone India complete India’s first private initiative to improve Wildlife Corridor between Kanha and Pench
India CSR News Network
NAGPUR: Vodafone India, a leading telecom company and Grow-Trees.com, a planting Partner for United Nation’s Environment Program’s Billion Tree Campaign, today said that they have successfully completed a joint project to improve Wildlife Corridor between Kanha and Pench wildlife sanctuaries by planting 300,000 trees on approximately 300 hectares of forest and community land over 3-years.
Initiated in August 2014, Kanha-Pench afforestation project involved planting 100,000 saplings over 100 hectares of forest land between Kanha Tiger Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh and Pench in Maharashtra every year for three years. In the just concluded last phase, 100,000 saplings were planted near Karwahi village for the last 3 consecutive years. In the first two phases 200,000 saplings were planted near Rata and Dhodhara village (near Kanha) along the corridor.
The successful completion of the wildlife corridor was formally announced by Ashish Chandra, Business Head– Maharashtra & Goa, Vodafone India and Mr. Bikrant Tiwary, CEO, Grow-Trees.com, at a press meet organised in Nagpur today.
Sharing details about Vodafone’s support to the project, Ashish Chandra – Business Head, M&G, Vodafone India, said, “Vodafone India is committed to supporting sustainable initiatives that benefit all – the organisation, the community and the environment. This unique project has enabled Vodafone to offset 33 million kg of carbon footprint generated by our offices. More importantly, we have been able to create livelihood opportunities, enable reforestation and facilitate habitat connectivity in tiger breeding areas between Kanha and Pench reserves. This is a win-win-win proposition for all – the organisation, the community and the environment, exemplifying the true spirit of sustainability.”
This project has created about 25,000 workdays of direct jobs mainly for women and tribal communities inhabiting the area in addition to supporting several allied livelihood generating activities such as farming, fruit and honey gathering etc. on a sustained basis.
Speaking on the occasion, Bikrant Tiwary, CEO, Grow-Trees.com, said, “Approximately 45% of India’s land is degraded primarily due to deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, mining and excessive groundwater extraction. More than two thirds of this can be regenerated and our endeavour is to facilitate this by providing planting opportunities to individual and corporate customers. We are delighted to have Vodafone India as our corporate partner to support this novel project of wildlife corridors for enlarging wildlife habitats. The size and scale of this private corridor reforestation initiative is the biggest till date in the country. The planting process on site has been taken care by our local planting partner.”
Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and Pench Tiger Reserve straddling Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are important habitats for the tiger population in central India. As tigers need large home ranges to ensure population viability, it is important to ensure habitat connectivity between different breeding areas. The Kanha– Pench corridor therefore gains high importance in the efforts to save the tiger and other wildlife. Such a corridor is vital for the long term survival and viability of tigers as it connects smaller tiger populations in Pench to larger populations such as at Kanha.
Without these linkages tiger populations isolated within individual tiger reserves face a higher risk of extinction due to poaching and loss in genetic vigour over generations. A tiger straying out of a forest also has to confront a range of challenges such as hostile villagers, retaliatory poisoning for livestock kills, poaching, and electrocution by live wires, apart from road and rail traffic that cause further fragmentation of forest cover. The trees planted will help improve the forest connectivity between Kanha and Pench and provide a sheltered corridor for tigers and animals to traverse between the two reserves.
www.Grow-Trees.com gives companies and individuals the ability to plant trees online to welcome new customers, celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, festivals or special occasions. Companies and individuals can send a personalized e-TreeCertificate with their message and logo or personal photograph. Trees are planted only on government and community lands with the objective of benefitting rural communities (through flowers, fruit, fuel and fodder), wildlife, improving water catchment areas, preventing soil erosion, reversing deforestation and fighting global warming by decarbonising the atmosphere. Grow-Trees was launched on World Environment Day, June 5, 2010. About 21,78,000 trees have been planted so far through the site in different projects across India by over 300 companies and thousands of individuals.
Vodafone India is a 100% fully owned subsidiary of the Vodafone Group Plc. with operations across the country serving over 204 million customers (over 106 million in rural areas). Commencing operations in 2007, Vodafone is today a robust, award-winning business and committed for the long term.