Tree planting or afforestation activity is considered one of the most effective ways to counter the multifarious challenges of environmental degradation. Every year starting from 5th June ( World environmnt day ) we start chanting and advocating the need of tree planting for the environmental protection and amelioration. The month of July (first week) has been earmarked for the planting programme in India which is also called as Van Mahotsava (tree festival ).
I remember during last 3-4 years there had been enormous activities centering around tree plantations in the name of planting record number of trees in a day, few million tree planting programmes etc. taken up by Corporations /State Governments/organisations. It is yet not known whether all these good numbers of trees planted have survived ? There is need to take up some realistic survey or study to ascertain the efficacy of these ambitious programmes of tree planting.
Let me take a very conservative estimate of even 1 Million or 10 lakhs plants if survived fully will cover about an area of 1000 hac ( considering the spacing of 10 met X 10 Met). So even at this conservative tree planting there should have been an increase of 1000 hac every year outside forests but in reality this is not the case.
It is observed and reported many times that most of these programmes of tree planting are not yielding required results.
There may be many local or specific issues responsible for failure of planting programme but following are few main reasons.
1.Considering plantation programme as one day activity.
2.Lack of comprehensive planning specially regarding maintenace and protection of plants.
3.Use of substandard seedlings and faulty planting technique.
4.Ignorance and lack of knowledge about site quality including soil type where planting is proposed.
5.Treating the programme as one day affair and not according genuine priority for environmental protection.
6.Lack of particpation of local prople or communities thereby missing the opportunity of owning the programme by themselves.
7.Lack of genuine political will and support( including financial )from the Governmment.
8.Non- involvement of other Government departments and treating tree planting as only the programme of forest deprtment.
The above reasons may or may not be correct in case of tree planting or afforestation prgrammes being umdertaken by the State Forest Departments.
I am sure we can improve the result of sucess of tree planting considerbaly if some of the above mentioned factors are taken care and addressed properly.
Few tips for a successful tree planting are given in my previous post .Tips for tree planting