We have been trying to protect and conserve forest in our target area since two years. Many interesting and sad facts have come out from the village meetings and FGDs with villagers over the last year. Every year the change in climate is drastic and a wide spectrum of village life has been affected and agriculture their main source of income is also affected immensely. When asked, villagers say it is the result of their irresponsible behavior over last few years. They have been continuously cutting the forest which is affecting their community in many ways.
People living in the area are economically poor and they depend upon forest for their livelihood. It is their right to utilize forest for their livelihood but at the same time responsibility should not be forgotten. Everyday thousands of bunches of wood from the forest are being supplied to market for sale apart from domestic use. We have necessity and right to use it but not to exploit it. If one tree is cut let us plant two instead.
As we all know that we all are responsible for climate change problem but the effect of the climate change is more on poor and marginalized community as they have very less resources and knowledge to adapt to it. Even though they are less responsible they are the most affected in the village. But this community is responsible for their own problems, whatever may be the cause, may it be poverty, unemployment, lack of awareness, the community is responsible for the enormous injustice they have done to the next generation.
We have been trying our best to help conserve forest in the region and the divisional forest office has ensured us all the help required towards forest conservation. Last year we had help plant 1300 saplings in 30 villages with the help of village forest protection committees but out of it there are less than 300 alive now. This year we have planned to plant more than 5000 sapling including bamboo in waste land with the help of villagers. Last Tuesday we had organized a block level meeting with forest committees from different villages. In the meeting most of the committee members shared that they now understand the importance and need of forest conservation and they would do their best to conserve it.
Time has come for all of us to work hard to conserve forest. This is the ‘Call of the time’ don’t think, no delay, no tomorrow, it starts from now…. Wherever you are, you may be in village or city, if you can’t do anything just pray for the cause….this is call of the time…
Pray for us as we are working with the community towards forest conservation. May God help us in helping people to conserve forest for better living, better livelihoods and better future for all.