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“Forests for the Air” Project: To Conserve and Nurture Forests for a Bright Future

India : North Western Ghats

Where is the Project Site?

The Western Ghats mountain range runs west along the Indian Peninsula. The monsoon winds striking the Western Ghats from the southwest produce high levels of rainfall. The varied topography and plentiful rainfall of the region have nurtured diverse and rich flora and fauna. However, destruction of the forests for fuel by both average households and industry continues to this day. The project covers the districts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra State in the north of the Western Ghats. About half of these districts are still covered by forests, but about 90% of this is privately owned land managed by local communities. This means the cooperation of these communities is crucial for the protection of the forests and the biodiversity they contain.

What’s the Project About?

Scheduled to begin in 2016, the project looks to achieve long-term protection of the community-owned forests in the north part of the Western Ghats. It will include community-centered planning and implementation of forest protection activities, reforestation using native tree species, local business development such as medicinal plant harvesting, the introduction of more efficiently burning furnaces, and surveys related to ecosystem services.

© AERF India/photo by Jayant Sarneik

Local Wildlife: Great Pied Hornbill Buceros bicornis

This near threatened species lives in the forests of Asia. Great pied hornbills have an impressive wingspan of up to 150 centimeters. They prefer to nest in the hollows of tall trees. Their numbers are dwindling with the depletion of forests and poaching.

“A Word from Field Staff”

Jayant Sarnaik
Deputy Director, Applied Environmental Research Foundation

Jayant Sarnaik Deputy Director, Applied Environmental Research Foundation

We feel honored to be part of the collaboration with Daikin industries in India. It shows their commitment to address the global issue of deforestation in critical forest landscapes - North Western Ghats. Daikin's support for forest conservation in the North Western Ghats bears high significance due to the fact that about 99% of forests in this region are situated on private lands and logging is considered as livelihood activity by marginal farmers in absence of better economic opportunities. We also very much appreciate and like Daikin's innovative concept- Forests for Air. It will go long way in mainstreaming the importance of forest ecosystems in regulating climate.


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