Take part in neighbourhood tree survey, save greenery

Take part in neighbourhood tree survey, save greenery

Here is another chance to save trees in your neighbourhood.

The fourth edition of the Neighbourhood Trees Campaign allows people to count the number of trees in their area and keep track of their growth.

The campaign will be held between April 22 and 30 as part of World Earth Day on April 22. The event is organised by India Biodiversity Portal (IBP).

Several groups, including Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (Atree), Asian Biodiversity Conservation Trust, Bombay Natural History Society, French Institute of Pondicherry, India Foundation for Butterflies and National Centre for Biological Sciences will take part in the campaign.

R Prabhakar, IBP member, said the idea of the exercise is to involve citizens and communities in counting the trees, preparing a detailed data pool and protecting them.

Explaining how it works, Prabhakar said by registering on the portal, anyone can become a member. After registering, one has to upload data online in a prescribed format which includes recording the tree observations like name of the species, number of trees of that species and attaching a photograph along with date, time and location. This data will be reviewed by experts and value addition will be done. The GPS location of the tree will be mapped on India’s online map, which can be viewed by all.

“So far, under the campaign, 15,570 trees belonging to 1,900 species have been documented. There are over 1,200 communities as members of the portal and we are keen to increase this. The maximum number of species uploaded are neem, pongamia and ficus,” he said.

Over 1,000 members are from Bengaluru. The maximum observations on the portal have been recorded from South India.

Over 4,000 observations have been recorded from the Western Ghats region alone. “One must remember that this is an online platform, popularised through social media, thus technological connectivity of people also plays an important role. For the next one year, a lot of attention will be given on involving communities from the Northeast from where the involvement is the least,” he said.

R Ganesan, taxonomist and fellow at Atree, said that through the platform, people are showing ownership of trees. It is also helping communities save the remaining green patches and even plant more saplings. The interest among Bengalureans is growing with every passing season, he said.

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