Thiruvananthapuram: The state Biodiversity Board’s initiative, Shanthi Sthal, involving creation of man-made forests in private lands, is catching up. To start with, the Board has planted saplings of threatened, endemic and endangered trees in seven acres of private land at Mulakuzhy and Chapparakadavu in Kannur district. This was a pilot project, and KSBB is hoping to replicate it in 100 acres of private land across the country during the current fiscal.
Private land owners who intend to join the project should have a minimum of ten acres of land to plant the saplings. Depending on the terrain, KSBB will provide a maximum of Rs.25, 000 for the planting.
According to Dr. K.P. Laladhas, member secretary of KSBB, the land owner has to care for the plants for three years with bio-fencing. “We have planned it in such a way that, on private land, if there is no human intervention, we can bring out a suitable ecosystem rich in fauna too. The project has been envisaged with the aim of creating man-made forest ecosystems in institutions like colleges and schools,” Laladhas told DC.
Respective biodiversity clubs in schools and colleges, with support from teachers and students, would help sustain the project. Local self government institutions and NGOs also have been urged to join the flagship ambitious project of KSBB.
“Kasaragod Government College has already earmarked 2.5 acres of their total 40-acre land to create a forest area. Out of the 2.5 acres, we have envisaged 1.5 acres for a bio-diversity park for private visitors and the remaining would be for Shanthi Sthal,” said Prof. Oommen V. Oommen, KSBB chairman.