Though the issue of Global Warming has come to center stage internationally, local processes contributing to loss of bio-diversity do not get as much attention as they should. Severe consequences of environmental imbalances are experienced everywhere, however there is lack of awareness on what needs to be done to halt this destructive process. We think that greater awareness about the bio-diversity cycle in ones’ own context is essential to take effective action to halt further degeneration. Therefore we are engaged in activities that build understanding about environment, bio-diversity cycle and hope to build public opinion to initiate required action with community participation
Nisarg Mitra activities attempt to protect bio-diversity and environment with active participation of children. Around 500 children of 20 villages are involved in this activity. Major activities started in this context include;
Nisarga Mandal (Eco-club) – Village level eco-clubs have been formed to take up concrete steps for bio-diversity conservation. Total 230 children are actively involved in these clubs. Regular meetings and capacity building activities are taken to enable them understand environmental issues in a systematic manner.
Village walk (Shivar Pheri) is one of the activities where children get to know environment and environmental processes in their own village. Interactions with village elders give necessary insight relating to bio-diversity conservation. A bi-monthly newsletter is published with contributions from children to spread awareness on environmental issues. Other activities like get-togethers and public meetings are organised for direct interaction with community members. Children grasp the messages fast and are quick to respond. This year they decided to take up a massive plantation drive. Total 7000 saplings were planted in areas surrounding school, farm and village. Almost 2000 children, including students of 20 schools in the area, participated in plantation drive.
Village Biodiversity Register : We have developed Bio Diversity register for 20 villages in which one can get information regarding Flora, Fauna, Forestry, Medicinal Herbs, Agricultural crops present in each village. This helps to understand the importance of maintaining the ecological balance.
Bi monthly news letter – Nisarg Mitra
Dr. Karver Nisarga Udyan – Efforts for bio-diversity conservation call for a sound understanding of variety and state of available natural resources in ones’ own area. Yuva Mitra has developed a Bio-diversity Resource Center in its campus, which exhibits diverse range of plants found in Sinnar block. Some of them are fringe varieties, carefully nurtured in the nursery. This centers exhibits total 213 local varieties of plants, which include forest plants, medicinal plants and agricultural plants. Yuva Mitra plans to expand this resource center by developing a Balodyan, Children’s Park, to promote awareness about bio-diversity. The center will soon be equipped with informative resources like films, posters, books, so that visitors will develop a sound knowledge about the issue. School children and farmers frequently visit the center.
Networking – Recognizing the need to take up broader level efforts Yuva Mitra is networking with like minded groups, individuals and organisations within the district and the state. At the level of Nashik district we are planning to make a forum involving individuals and groups working on environmental issues, eco-clubs, friends of animals and birds, doctors, lawyers and journalists. At the state level we are collaborating with organisations devoted to environmental issues. These associations are helping to build our own understanding and facilitating information sharing. Eventually these collaborative efforts are expected