South Asian Forum for Environment

Agroforestry and Mangrove Plantation

The agro-forestry initiative of SAFE has covered an area more than 3500 ha engaging nearly 7000 households in whole of Eastern and North Eastern area. It has received the prestigious national award in community agroforestry from Central Agroforestry Research Institute, Jhansi, in UP India. A brief account of the innovative interventions of SAFE in agroforestry is briefly accounted below for kind perusal.

  1. Year 2011-2012: After the devastation of cyclone Aila agroforestry plantation in Gosaba block of North 24 PGS of West Bengal, endeavours in mangrove plantation along with sesbania was initiated in the country side through community-based program. Alongside this plantation of fruits of like Sapota, Moringa, Custard Apple and Bael etc. were planted. This was supplemented with vetiver plantation for fodder and other ethnobiological usage to augment alternative livelihood. The project was supported by NABARD and later adopted by the department of forest. It spanned over an area of nearly 26 ha.
  2. Year 2012-2014: Agroforestry was introduced in watershed project management in Jhalda and Huda Block of Purulia through support from UNEP and Asia Green foundation, Korea. The plantation included Litchi, Moringa, Guava and Jackfruit in 70 ha of managed watershed. It was sustained with traditional drip irrigation using earthen pots by 370 tribal households.
  3. Year 2014-2015: Introduction of fruiting plants as shade trees in peri urban Ramsar site of East Kolkata Wetlands was yet another innovation of SAFE. This program across 10700 ha of wetland areas was supported by a CSR program of PwC wherein 5000 trees were planted through community partnership.
  4. Year 2015-2017: The most innovative seed ball campaign for agro-forestry plantation was introduced in parts of Purulia district, Jharkhand and parts of North 24 PGS of West Bengal. The seed balls made of moisture retaining coco peat, vermicompost and mud contained seeds of 18 fruit trees and 12 forest trees were disposed in areas of minimal to no forest cover for germination. A germination rate of 7% and seedling stabilization rate of 12% was accomplished after disposing 75,000 seed balls over an area of 170 km2.
  5. Year 2016-2017: Agro forestry intervention was initiated in Eastern Bhutan and Western Arunachal Pradesh for forest fire remediation by plantation of bio-fencing plants like Aloevera, Banana, Papaya and Canna. The project under the aegis of ICI MOD was spread across an area of 2800 ha.
  6. Year 2017 onwards: In partnership with Global Development Network, GIZ and Japan Social Development Fund niche-oriented mangrove species were planted and restored in 50 ha of mudflats in the Indian Sundarban. These plantations were done around the fringe villages of Sundarban Tiger Reserve (STR) through community-based approach. The vulnerable earthen embankment which was prone to extreme weather events, were selected for these interventions. Increment of forest cover, social forestry, horticulture and as well blue carbon sequestration were achieved through community participation. The project propounded and innovative climate resilient practice of float farming in salinity ingressed areas within the coastal agro-climatic zone.
  7. Year 2022-24: SAFE is partnering with corporates like Concentrix and HSBC for extensive plantation and carbon stocking in eastern Indian fallows. Mangrove plantation in the rice production landscapes of Sundarbans and Bhitarkanika Ramsar sites is a major focal area of this intervention.