Ghughri Block in Mandla District, Madhya Pradesh is inhabited by a largely agrarian population that depends primarily on fuelwood and other biomass resources for its cooking and heating needs. Trading of NTFPs (Non-Timber Forest Products) collected from nearby forest patches is an important income generation source for many of the households in this village.
The ever-growing human population in the region has led to an increased demand for fuelwood and NTFPs from the forests; which is unsustainable and driving certain NTFPs & fuelwood species towards extinction.
To combat the pressure on forests, 14,000 saplings of various fuelwood and fruit-bearing species were distributed to 1500 households. Another 1,000 saplings of Amla (NTFPs) and Khamer (fuelwood) were planted on a patch of community land, which was provided by the Head of Kandra Village, Ghughri. The species planted in this initiative were chosen after gauging the prevailing needs and demands of the local community.
The trees on the community land, once grown, can be used by the local community for their day-to-day fuelwood and NTFPs needs. The plantation drive received enthusiastic support from both the community members – who participated in large numbers –as well as from local government institutions.
A local SHG formed under IEMaC – Paudh Samvardhan Women Self Help Group– has also taken up the responsibility of watering and maintaining the trees planted in the community land.