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Revegetating common lands

In the upper catchments of the Papagni River, the landscape is a unique confluence of ecological features characteristic to the Deccan Plateau, the Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats. Covering parts of Kolar and Chikballapur districts near the town of Chintamani in Karnataka, the area has a hilly terrain with rocky boulders and sparse vegetation on hill slopes. The common lands found in the area are classified as grazing lands and are under the custody of Panchayats. The degraded forestlands are mostly bereft of indigenous species and infested with lantana, an invasive species. Eucalyptus plantations are a common sight on private lands as well as some of the forestlands.

The project involves planting of 20,000 saplings of indigenous species of trees on the village commons lands, with the active participation of the local communities. The improved vegetation would aid in eco restoration, and fulfil the biomass needs of the village communities, benefiting them with fruit, fodder, fuel and forest produce.

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