Mangroves and Local Environment

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MANGRO Project: Regeneration, Protection, Conservation, and Management of Mangroves through Community Participation, Campaign and Education on Environmental Issues in Pattamundai, Rajnagar, Mahakalpada and Aul Blocks of Kendrapara District

The project has been in operation by Chale Chalo in collaboration with IVDT – UK and local communities since July 2008 and has been renewed / extended annually with reflection and necessary changes in objectives, strategies and activities. For last six years the project has covered around 50000 people in more than 60 villages and 60 schools and undertaken variety of need based environment related activities. This year the project has focused in 30 villages and 30 schools for caring out intensive works for mainstreaming environment issues and making regeneration and protection of mangroves and coastal environment a mass movement. The main objectives of the project are as follows:

Objective 1

Scaling up of massive mangrove regeneration using government, PRIs, community and Chale Chalo resources in Kendrapara District based on the past learning of MANGRO Project

Objective 2

Scaling up of massive plantation of general species in left-out places of project area by using government, PRIs, community and Chale Chalo resources based on the past learning

Objective 3

Tapping of local volunteers/talents/resource persons/key people of Eco-Clubs and their meaningful engagement for sustaining Project actions by using MANGRO Centre at Madanpur

Major Activities Performed in the Year 2014-15 under MANGRO Project

Mangroves Nursery and Plantation

Last year (2013 – 14), we had raised around 50,000 seedlings of mangroves species near Koelpur River Site. This year (2014-15) we have not done the mangrove nursery due to availability of around 18,000 seedlings raised last year. We have maintained the mangrove nursery and ensured survival of seedlings. We have used the seedlings for gap filling and replacing the damaged planted seedlings in Koelpur, Kankadia, Barahapur and Tantiapal mangroves plantation sites developed by Chale Chalo. The project team has expanded the existing plantation areas by using the available mangroves seedlings and taken gap filling in Sringarpur mangroves plantation site done by FD. Chale Chalo has been undertaking mangroves nursery and plantation activities for last 7 years in collaboration with local communities, NGOs, Local Forest Office and IVDT. It has successfully created 5 new mangroves forest patches (Praharajpur, Barahapur & Tantiapal, Kankadia, Jagannathpur and Koelpur) and outreached other suitable areas by gaps filling and replacing damaged plants through re-plantation of locally suitable mangrove species. We have successfully planted more than 300000 potted seedlings, direct seeds and associated plants. We have mobilized local communities for supporting and monitoring mangroves plantation of ICZMP in 3 sites.

Campaign for Regeneration, Protection and Conservation of Mangroves

General Nursery, Plantation and Plants Care and Grafting

This year we have raised 10,000 seedlings of local species at MANGRO Centre. Numbers of seedlings have been reduced due to setting up of tree nurseries by forest department in strategic locations as a result of people’s demands generated through MANGRO Project Actions. We have raised seedlings of fruits bearing species, trees of high demand for fuel and fodder uses and species which have high economical value. We felt the project has still a role to play in raising fruits bearing, medicinal value, fuel, house & furniture making species mainly catering the needs at household level. This year we raised species like – Guava, Coconut, Mango, Lemon, Papaya, Drumsticks, Banana, Jamun, Safeda, Coconut, Sisu, Neem, Karanja, Chakunda, Krushna Chuda and Radha Chuda etc. This year we have planted seedlings like Jamun, Coconut, Mango, Pesta, Safeda, Lichi, Banana, Custard Apple, Papaya, Drumstick, Sisu, Radha Chuda, and various medicinal, decorative and flowering in MANGRO Center campus. Due to incessant rains and standing water, few plants like papaya, custard apple etc damaged. However, we are regularly raising useful seedlings in the nursery at MANGRO Centre, distributing the same among villagers and replacing the damaged plants. The care taker of the campus along with the functionaries, staffs and volunteers of Chale Chalo are taking very good care of the plants and making the campus green & clean.

Campaign against Indiscriminate Use of Chemical Fertilizers and Pesticides

Campaign against indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have been undertaken among students, teachers, farmers, youths and women. More than 5000 people got involved in the campaign with majority of them as students. 12 schools and 2 colleges have been covered under the campaign.

Through the campaign the students got involved in the debate on use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and argued in favor or against the use of the same. They also discussed and explored the alternatives and learned dabout the practice of making and using organic manures and pesticides / pest control. They got involved in information gathering / study of their own family and neighbors using chemical fertilizers & pesticides and/or organic manures / pest control materials and what are the positive and negative impacts of both the practices. They also explored to know the changes made in agriculture practices, reasons for increasing trend of using chemical fertilizers / pesticides. They deeply learned the traditional methods of preparing organic manures / pesticides and prepared data base on families still have those traditional or improved practices of making organic manures and pesticides. They discussed about the issues with their friends, family members and farmers of their villages and got first hand information about the present situation and future possibility of sustainable agriculture practices. The teachers also gathered information about facts / figures / case studies about negative impact of use of increased rate of chemical fertilizers / pesticides, becoming dependent upon the companies for all kind of inputs including seeds, fertilizers and pest controls and shared those among the children. The children took part in the post card campaign and sent letters to the honorable chief minister and agriculture minister for controlling indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers / pesticides and promoting organic manures / pesticides and engage the agriculture department to work closely with the farmers and environmentalists to find solutions for adopting sustainable agriculture practices. The students had also developed slogans, songs and one act play to discourage blindly use of chemical fertilizers / pesticides and promoting natural ways for increasing productivity of soil and control of pests. The issue has been covered in the Newsletter “The Hental”. The project had distributed leaflets massively for creating awareness about negative impacts of use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The students also made posters on the issues in different schools.

As part of the media campaign on the issues the local journalists of Dharitri, Pragatibadi, Samaj, Sambad, Samaya, Suryaprava and Orissa Express newspapers have been involved and they have covered the issues. In five villages the farmers and women SHGs members in addition to the children and youths of the villages were involved in the campaign and had series of group discussions and village meetings on the situation and ways for reversing the trend. They have started reviving their compost pits and traditional methods of preparing manure and pest management and seeds preservation and use.

Orientation on Sustainable Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry

The program was organized at Subarnapur Red Cross Centre with120 farmers, women SHGs leaders, youths, plants’ growers, EDC members, government officials and social activists on 24th August 2014. The program was participatory in nature and given an opportunity to listen to the experienced and elderly persons of the areas on sustainability aspects of forestry, agriculture and horticulture. The Gram Panchayat Extension Officer (GPEO), Rajnagar Block and Panchayat Executive Officer, Dangamal GP presented in details the scope in MGNREGS and present convergence actions of various line departments for continuous improvement of agriculture, horticulture and forestry activities in the block. The Forest Officer, Bhitar Kanika National Park, also explained the alternative livelihood supports through forest department and ICZM project and various forestry actions through local Eco – Development Committees. The GPEO listed out the works that could be undertaken under MGNREGS related to agriculture, horticulture and forestry development works. Some of them are land development, farm ponds, making bonds, nala, drainage, small irrigation structures, making manure, tree nurseries, undertaking agro – forestry and plantation works of all kinds of plants like – fruits bearing, fuel, fodder and timber etc. 4 elderly farmers were found as resourceful persons on the subject from all practicality point of views and shared techniques for seeds conservation to various locally suitable and environment friendly approaches for better productivity and sustainability in agriculture, horticulture and forestry. The local journalist appreciated the local knowledge and skills on the subjects and highlighted the roles of media to be part of the campaign and people’s actions for highlighting the long term sustainability part of agriculture, horticulture and forest resources. The participants made a visit to nearest agriculture fields and backyards of few nearby families to assess the current situation and plan for future action. The retired doctor turned environmentalist Dr. Krupasindh Parida, gave lots of useful information / data collected from different sources on the subjects and encouraged the participants to slowly stop using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, revive the traditional high to very high yielding local climate suitable seeds and revive natural manure making practices / skills and pest management and plan each inch of suitable land for best possible use for agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Mr. Rama Ranjan of MANGRO Project explained about the MANGRO Project and the impacts realized so far for regeneration, protection and conservation of mangroves, creating green belt through massive plantation and protection of local environment. He also explained seeds preservation, natural compost and pesticides making, nursery raising, grafting, plantation and plants care etc undertaken by MANGRO Center at Madanpur. The participants decided to initiate the processes in 3 to 5 villages nearby BKNP this year with convergence of concern line – departments for creating models on sustainable agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Mr. Ranjit Kumar Swain, Director of Chale Chalo, facilitated different sessions of the orientation program and highlighted the importance of making it a mass movement for sustainable agriculture, forestry and horticulture.

Support to Eco-Club Activities

Continuation and streamlining of eco – club activities have been one of the priorities during this project period. Through regular visits and supports the involvement of eco-clubs members of 31 schools has been ensured for making and maintaining the school campus as environment and child friendly. The eco-clubs members have been trained and actively involved in nursery raising and plantation activities in the school campus, surrounding areas, villages and own land and taking good care of them for ensuring their survival and growth. Important environment related days have been observed by Eco – Clubs for sensitizing students, teachers and villagers on issues and encourage them to initiate actions for better environment. The members of eco – clubs have been motivated to undertake campus cleaning, using dustbins and compost pits and actively participate in Swachha Bharat Abhiyan. The eco-clubs have been involved in campaign activities on various occasions like – conservation of wetland, protection of forest, protection of wildlife, awareness for massive plantation and protection of plants, awareness on negative impacts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides etc. The members have been mobilized to take part in debates, drawings, painting, quiz, poster making, slogans, rallies, songs and dramas on environment related issues. The members have been tracking the use of organic and chemical fertilizers and pesticides in their own homes and villages. They are learning about plants, crops and living creatures present in surrounding area. The eco-clubs members had got the opportunity to visit MANGRO Center and BKNP and see the videos on Bhitar Kanika National Park, Blue Planet, Organic Manure, Disaster, Life of Birds, Animals and Plants. They have contributed for Newsletter – The Hental and got the opportunity to publish their write ups and read Hental and other awareness materials. Regular monthly meetings of Eco – Clubs have been ensured for reviewing their works and making future planning.

Materials Preparation and Publications

MANGRO Centre Development Works

Capacity Building of MANGRO Team Members

Exposure Visit to Sundarban Mangroves Forest and Vikramshila Schools

2 members of MANGRO Team visited Sundarba for gaining improved knowledge on regeneration, protection and conservation of mangroves and the works of local NGOs and forest department. They visited Sundarban Social Development Society, The Human Development Foundation, Sundarban Biodiversity Research Society and forest offices and held dialogue with NGOs representatives, forest department staffs at different level and tried to get information about Sundarban and the works of the forest department. The team visited intensively for 3-4 days in Sundarban periphery and core areas and observed status of Sundarban and roles of various stakeholders for regeneration and conservation of mangroves. The exposure visit given an opportunity to compare the situation of BKNP with Sundarban and the activities of Chale Chalo with other NGOs in Sundarban area. The visit has also given ideas about how the forest department and other government offices work in West Bengal and Odisha.

2 members of MANGRO Team also availed the exposure visit to Vikramsila to learn about innovative and joyful teaching – learning methods adopted in their schools by using appropriate TLMs. The team also learned the process and methods to prepare the TLMs by using locally available materials. They also learned activity based teaching – learning processes for knowing their environment and work for its protection. The adoption of plants and taking care in schools and homes, making friends with plants and learning the details were interesting. The exercises and games to understand the food chain and interdependency were stimulating to inculcate values of environment based sustainable development.

Survey on Household and Village Natural Resources / Environment

We had sample household and village survey in 5 villages with the objective to understand the dependency of local people on natural resources for their livelihoods and leading day to day life. The survey made a calculation of different types of plants available in the homestead and common land and the degree of dependency of people on nearest mangroves forest and the trend for last 10 years. Survey covered the use of land, water and plants resources and how far the household is self reliant in meeting its fuel, fodder, food, house making, furniture, fencing and household needs. The survey tried to find out the cropping patterns, use of organic and/or chemical fertilizers / pesticides, availability of compost pits, ponds, kitchen garden, horticultural, fuel and fodder plants, domestic animals, drinking water sources, food security measures and government programs for better environment and climate resilience. The survey was participatory in nature and the villagers were involved in responding the questionnaires, participating in group discussions and PRA exercises for self learning and future actions to save nature close to them.

Community Monitoring of ICZMP Mangroves Plantation

Total area of 65.52 hectares with target of planting minimum 2500 seedlings per hector and total 163800 lakhs mangroves plants had been planned for six sites. Mr. Rama Ranjan Mallick along with community leaders, media persons and concern citizens had visited 4 times to the sites to take stock of the situation. The team had discussed the matter in detailed with the local people of 3 sites, forest department staffs and officials and media for ensuring targeted numbers of mangroves plants and proper maintenance. Project team mobilized local communities for supporting and monitoring mangroves plantation in 3 sites.

Community Mobilization and Supports for Forest Department and other NGOs Initiatives for Nursery Raising, Plantation, Protection of Plants, Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Management and other Environment related Works

Change in Strategies

This year the project has made a humble attempt to change its strategies and approaches for ensuring maximum utilization of government resources through advocacy & lobby for creating green belt and making accountable to the concern authorities to gradually adopt environment sensitive actions with active participation of all the stakeholders, especially the local communities. The project has substantially contributed in creating few model environment friendly schools and need to carry forward this initiative with more focus manner in the changing scenario. The 5 successful community managed mangroves plantation /regeneration sites have been demonstrative to influence other villagers to undertake similar actions. Baliapali and other villages are ready for undertaking mangroves plantation/regeneration in the next year. There are opportunities to mobilize the local communities for plantation/regeneration of mangroves in all suitable areas through creating demand and motivating local communities and forest department and creating green and clean villages. The Green Belt Concept and Campaign initiated by CHALE CHALO through MANGRO Project has been accepted by all sections of people. We expect the State and Central Governments, Bi-lateral and Multi-Lateral Agencies to work with local communities for Green Belt by regenerating/planting suitable mangroves species, associated plants and other locally adaptable trees.

Observation of Wildlife Week from 2nd October to 8th October 2014

Chale Chalo extended supports and cooperation to Mangroves Forest Division of Rajnagar during observation of Wildlife Week. An awareness building meeting was held on dated 2nd October 2014 at Mangrove Forest Division Office. 150 participants including Students, Teachers, Forest Department Staffs and representatives of Eco – Development Committees, CSOs and Media participated in the meeting. DFO, Range Officer, Project Officer of CHALE CHALO and others highlighted the importance of conservation of mangroves for protection of wild animals and eco – logical balance and save the food web. The message was for protection of Wildlife through local action. Wildlife Week was conceptualized in 1952 with the overall goal of raising awareness for safeguarding wildlife through critical action. In addition, the Indian Government established an Indian Board of Wildlife which works for protection of wildlife. The MANGRO project team organized wildlife related movie screening, eco-clubs meetings, drama, street play, wildlife masks making and display, drawing, essay writing, debate competition and observation of wildlife in schools and local mangroves forests for spreading the message of wildlife conservation. Wildlife Week programs organized by Chale Chalo covered 321 students in 6 schools.

Training on Compost Making and Grafting

Compost Making and Grafting Training had been imparted to 430 farmers and youth volunteers with focus on women farmers in Dangamal and Brahamnisahi GPs of Rajnagar Block and Gagua GP of Mahakalpada Block. The trainees learned about the processes for preparation and use of 3 types of Pot Compost and making 2 types of grafting. Mr. Rama Ranjan Mallick who had undergone master trainers course on compost making and grafting in SAMBHAVA, Nayagarh, had facilitated the training. He made the training practical and engaged the trainees to make their own organic manure and grafting. He also tapped the experiences and expertise of the local farmers for revival of pit compost, grafting, home-based seeds storage and nursery. In the training the participants listed out the degradable waste generated in homes and surrounding areas for making good composts and identified species and mother plants for grafting.

Swachha Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign)

Swachha Bharat Abhiyan was organized by CHALE CHALO on dated 20th October 2014 in collaboration with Madanpur Mahavir collage and local volunteers. 120 people including the inter project staffs, volunteers and trustees of Chale Chalo, students, teachers, lecturers and local volunteers were involved in the cleanliness drive with brooms, baskets and cleaning equipments and made complete clean of the road from Madanpur Chawk to College, road sites, market, bus stop and college campus. The cleanness campaigners had decorative banners and placards and raising slogans and singing songs for creating awareness on importance of cleanness along with doing the cleaning jobs themselves. Chale Chalo has been motivating, mobilizing and working closely with schools, colleges, SHGs, PRIs, Media and other NGOs for creating clean and green schools, colleges and villages and making collective efforts to make the project area complete clean and green before 2019. Chale Chalo has maintained Environment Resource centre known as MANGRO Centre at Madanpur complete clean and green through labor contribution and keeping regular track for further improvement in cleanness and quality maintenance of campus and set an examples for other institutions and villagers. We are organizing video shows on environment, health, hygiene and sanitation subjects in schools and villages with focus on clean and green environment.

Visit of IVDT Team to MANGRO Project

Ms. Helena Nightingale, Chair and Ms. Kim Devenish, Trustee of IVDT – UK had visited the MANGRO Project from 24th to 28th November 2014. During their visit, the project team had presented a detailed progress report with power point presentation of the project works and achievements. They visited Rajnagar, Pentha and Jarimula Schools for observing the campaign activities on popularization of organic manure and pesticides and creating awareness on negative impacts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They had visited the mangroves plantation sites as well as proposed mangroves nursery and plantation sites. During the field visit to Dangamal GP they thoroughly reviewed the progress on organic compost and pesticides making and grafting undertaken especially by women farmers in different villages and growing of vegetables and crops by using organic manures and adopting natural pest control devices. They had discussion with interested persons for formation of Mangrove Education Working Group and had a special meeting with the team along with Dr. Natabar Rout, Geologist for this purpose. A Mangrove Education Working Group was formed for Marvelous Mangroves. IVDT Team observed and reviewed the MANGRO Centre works and project works in the fields and guided the project team to prepare future action plan.

Observation of World Wetland Day 2015

As part of the campaign and awareness generation, the World Wetland Day was observed on 2nd February 2015 by CHALE CHALO in association with local forest office and Pentha Project Primary School Eco-Club. 45 students, teachers and village volunteers participated in the Meeting. The World Wetland Day was observed with an Awareness Rally, Presentations, Group Discussions, visiting and observing nearby wetlands and making plan for their conservation and mangroves plantation etc. Copies of the Environment Newsletter published by Chale Chalo “THE HENTALA” were distributed among students, teachers, forest staffs and village volunteers. The participants made a 4 kms march from Pentha to Barunai river mouth with local guide and use of binoculars and magnified glasses to observe, understand and realize the importance of wetlands in humans and other living beings for maintaining ecological balance.

Observation of World Forestry Day – 2015

The concept of celebrating a day every year as World Forestry Day originated at the 23rd General Assembly of the European Confederation of Agriculture in 1971. The event also venerates the contribution of the forests. Every year, 21 March is marked as World Forestry Day. A forest just doesn’t mean trees but it’s an entire complex, a living community. Many interdependent species of plants and animals dwell beneath the forest canopy; the forest soil is a home to large variety of invertebrates, bacteria and fungi which play an essential role in cycling nutrients in the soil and the forest. Reckless felling of trees have endangered many species and making the lives of millions of humans difficult to survive. Keeping the importance of forest in mind on 21st March 2015 Chale Chalo organized number of small activities at Kanasara Bidyashram, Firikidandi, Madanpur, Pattamundai, Dist – Kendrapara to observe the World Forestry Day for generating awareness and people’s initiatives for regeneration, protection and conservation of tree mass and the living creatures depending on them with focus on mangroves forests. The message was to create Green Belt in Costal Odisha through massive plantation of suitable mangrove species and locally useful plants and protect the natural and manmade forests and tree mass with active involvement of students, teachers and villagers. On this occasion seedlings had been planted in school campus, students were taken for exposure visit to tree nursery and plantation at MANGRO Centre and Central Nursery of FD. They were provided with binoculars for nature observations, observe and recognize the plants and their usefulness, participated in group discussions and drawings etc. Mr. Pradeep Kumar Nayak (Eco- Club Teacher), Kanasara Bidyashrm Mr. Bijaya Kumar Das (Headmaster), Mr. Soraj Kumar Achrya, (Assistant Eco- Teacher) Ms. Suprava Malik and Ms. Susila Jena, Teachers and Mr. Rama Ranjan Mallick (Project Officer), CHALE CHALO, Madanpur had facilitated the activities. Leaflets, booklets and Newsletters had been distributed among participants for better understanding of forest and environment.

Environment Study Tour for Eco – Club Students and Teachers to BKNP

An Environmental Study Tour to Bhitar Kanika National Park was organized by CHALE CHALO in the month of February 2015. 65 eco-club students and 8 teachers of Project Primary School, Pentha, Sabitri devi Girls High School, Jarimula and K.N High School, Dangamal of Rajanagr Block joined in this Environment Study Tour to Bhitar Kanika National Park (BKNP). This study tour helped the students and teachers to understand the rich bio-diversity of Bhitarkanika, the importance of mangrove forests and coastal eco-system. BKNP guide Mr. Hemanta Panigrahi (Interpreter of BKNP) explained the features of various plants including herbs, shrubs, creepers and grasses. He had a presentation on ecological importance of mangrove forest, crocodiles and olive riddle turtles and other wild animals. He explained that BKNP is the second largest Mangrove Forest in India, after the Sundarbana of West Bengal. Sixty-three types of mangrove plants are available in BKNP. It is famous for Baula Crocodile, Spotted Deer, Olive Riddle Turtles, Crabs; Prawns, Fishes, Snakes, other Reptiles, Mammals and Birds. They had the opportunity to see the Mangrove Nursery and Mr. Amara Kumar Behera (Mangrove Nursery in Charge) explained the Flowering and Fruits Coming Period and seeds germination system of 22 mangrove species grown in the nursery. The children enjoyed observation, drawing and recording of plants, animals, birds and insects etc inside BKNP. They enjoyed travelling by motor boat, seeing the facilities inside BKNP for stay, food, rest and roaming, crocodile hatching, corridor and rest places, seeing spotted dear, so many birds and other creatures, They also enjoyed environmental songs, slogans, drama and actively participated in debate and discussions. The students visited the museum in BKNP, observed the materials that have been collected and preserved in the museum and learned about lives in water and mangroves forests. A silent rally was organized in the locality with placards and banners carrying the messages of conservation of mangrove forests and wild life, planting and saving trees, saving water and soil, importance of cleanness and protection of environment during the study tour. The participants had also interacted with the local people and learned their issues and concerns while living in and around BKNP. The tour was a very exciting and a new experience of the participating students and teachers on collective and direct learning process by observation of nature and interactions with different forest staffs and local people.