Demonstration on canopy management in old mango trees

Experts demonstrating canopy management at the Thimmapuram Nursery maintained by the Horticulture Department.

KRISHNAGIRI: A demonstration on canopy management in old mango trees was held in Thimmapuram near Kaveripattiman here.

The programme was organised by the Horticulture Department for its officers from the ranks of Joint Directors, Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors from all the districts. Israel-based agriculture scientists, experts in mango cultivation, gave an on-field demonstration to the officials at the Thimmapuram Government Nursery. The experts identified and pruned the unwanted and dead branches of the trees with the help of a fully automated hydraulic lift.

Experts Michael Moshe Roy and Mr. Cliff Love said the optimum height of the mango trees should be between 4 and 4.5 metres, as it eased the field operations and harvest. The trees should be cut up to 4-metre height and 3-metre radius and it should be left as it is for one year. Next year, 50 per cent of the trees should be cut and the rest during the second year to a height of 1.5 metre and 1.5 metre width.

The National Horticulture Board had imported the lift ‘‘AFRON SA-650 ” worth about Rs. 12 lakh from Israel to use it for demonstration across the country.

From THE HINDU

Ooty: Protect trees, grow more

Campaign on climate change in Udhagamandalam

Udhagamandalam: Tree planting programmes should no longer be a mere ritualistic exercise, said the District Forest officer, the Nilgiris North, K. Soundarapandian, while inaugurating a campaign on Climate Change organised by the Nilgiris Environment and Cultural Service Trust (NEST) at the Oxford Teacher Training Institute here on Tuesday.

The people and organisations taking saplings from the forest department should ensure that they are nurtured. Problems associated with climate change and carbon emission can be combated only by protecting the existing trees and growing more trees, he said. It should be ensured that the density of forests is not reduced.

Eucalyptus and other species are not being encouraged, he said adding the policy of the department is to promote native species only as the shola trees function like a sponge and release water throughout the year. Fire is a major source of concern to the department.

Mr. Soundarapandian said that teachers should influence the children.

The chairman, Udhagamandalam Municipal Council, R. Rajendran, who presided over the programme said that the government cannot implement schemes successfully without the cooperation of the people.

Sad turn

Referring to the planting scheme initiated by him a couple of years ago, he said that though 1,000 Jacaranda saplings had been planted in various parts of the town only about 300 have established firm roots. Emphasising the need to act more and talk less, he said that people should avoid using vehicles unnecessarily.

The Assistant Conservator of Forests Jayaraj said that the stress now is on people’s participation in the programmes of the forest department.

The people should be familiarised with the direct and indirect benefits of trees.

The Field Officer, CPR Environmental Education Centre, M. Kumaravelu, said that awareness must lead to action. The Managing Trustee, NEST, V. Sivadass, said that the economic well being of the Nilgiris is dependent on its weather.

The release of a pamphlet on climate change by Mr. Soundarapandian marked the occasion.

From THE HINDU

Salem: Emphasis on growing trees in hill areas

Tribals told of impact of global warming on environment

SALEM: Tribal People’s Development Society (TPDS), Kannapadi Hills, near Danishpet here in association with C. P. Ramaamy Ayya Foundation conducted a two-day programme on environment for the tribal villagers of the hills recently.

The speakers explained in detail about the changing environment due to global warming and the fall-out that had started affecting the people who used to live in forests and hills.

Eco-friendly move: Tribal Peoples Development Society conducting an environment awareness campaign in Kannapadi hill village in Salem district recently.

Diseases

They also told them the diseases that would attack not only the humans but also the livestock and crops.

The changes would affect the livelihood of tribals, particularly their women.

To minimize its impact the need for growing trees in hills and forests also was stressed.

Later elocution and essay competitions were held for school students.

Women members of self help groups also had been made aware of their role in the changing scenario.

All of them were told to shun plastic sternly.

It should be converted into a mass movement, they pointed out.

Tree saplings were distributed to the participants at the end of the two-day programme.

G. Revathi, M. Govindaraj, M. Vimalanathan, Valarmathi, M. Mani, J. Saminathan and TDPS Director V. Ganesan spoke on the occasion.

From THE HINDU

Stringent action for illegal felling of trees: Minister

Selvaraj inspects a private area near Geddhai where trees have been allegedly cut

Udhagamandalam: Steps will be taken to to prevent illegal tree felling, said Forest Minister N. Selvaraj while speaking to presspersons near Geddhai on Tuesday.

Pointing out that the amount of fine imposed does not match the offence, he felt that it should be increased.

Stating that the purpose of his visit was to inspect on the orders of the Chief Minister a private area near Geddhai where a large number of trees including valuable ones had allegedly been cut and a road laid to transport them, he claimed that it had been found that no valuable trees had been felled and the road was in existence for many decades. Only some trees used for fire wood had been cut.

District-level panel

Pointing out that there is a district-level committee to deal with applications for felling trees, Mr. Selvaraj said that stringent action would be taken against those who brought down trees without the clearance of the committee.

When asked about the proposed elephant corridor at Sigur near the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, he said that the government will give its report to the High Court only after ensuring that the corridor was properly identified and the people are not affected.

Boar menace

He added that efforts would be made to tackle the wild boar menace in agricultural fields.

Among those present were the Khadi Board Minister, K. Ramachandran, the Conservator of Forests, R. Kannan, and the Field Director, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Rajiv K. Srivastava.

From THE HINDU

Global warming “more dangerous” than terrorism

MADURAI: Global warming and climate change affects all countries, rich and poor alike, and are more dangerous than even terrorism, which targets only specific countries, according to D.R. Karthikeyan, former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Green initiative: D.R. Karthikeyan (centre), former CBI Director, plants a sapling in Chellamuthu Gardens at Alagarkoil in Madurai District on Tuesday.— Photo: G. Moorthy

In the last century, forests had been indiscriminately targeted for narrow gains and this had also contributed greatly to this global problem.

Mr. Karthikeyan was addressing a sapling planting campaign, organised by the M.S. Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation, at Alagarkoil near here on Tuesday.

The campaign launched by Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri recently aims at planting one lakh saplings in the district.

Avoiding the use of petroleum products, taking to bio-fuel and planting more saplings are the need of the hour, said Mr. Karthikeyan.

He said that trees helped in protecting the soil besides contributing to bringing in rain. He gave away saplings to families of mentally-challenged patients of the M.S. Chellamuthu Trust.

Speaking earlier, C. Ramasubramanian, State Nodal Officer, Mental Health Programme, and founder of the Trust, said that planting of saplings will be of great help. M. Easwaran, Commandant, Armed Reserve Police (Sixth Battalion), lauded the work being done by the Trust and assured Dr. Ramasubramanian of full support.

K.P.T. Ganesan, Chairman, Tamil Nadu State Agricultural Marketing Committee, said that saplings along with the tree guards would be provided upon receiving applications.

Trust officials said that while initially 100 saplings would be planted on the M.S. Chellamuthu Gardens campus at Algarkoil, a total of 1,000 saplings would be planted through 300 families drawn from the 23 self-help groups affiliated to the Trust.

From THE HINDU

‘Trees Outside the Forests’ project gets good response

Coimbatore: During 2009-2010 nearly one lakh teak seedlings have been planted in farmlands in Coimbatore District by the Forest Division and Social Forestry Division under the project, ‘Tree Cultivation in Private Lands’. The project is also called the ‘Trees Outside the Forests’.

Green cover

The initiative implemented as part of a State-wide scheme was carried out by Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore Circle, R. Kannan and District Forest Officer, I. Anwardeen in an effort to increase the green cover of the district and to provide economic gains to farmers.

Totally 262 farmers were benefitted in one year.

Another 50,000 seedlings have been distributed free of cost to farmers by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department under the same scheme.

Large scale plantation

Mr. Anwardeen said that Mr.Kannan had provided all logistical assistance, guidance and impetus for the scheme and Tamil Nadu is the pioneer State to implement this large scale tree plantation initiative by the Forest Department.

During 2009-10 about 91 lakh casuarinas, teak and other seedlings were planted in the farmlands of Tamil Nadu by the department.

The tree cover outside the forest area in Tamil Nadu is estimated to be 3.82 per cent of the geographical area as per Forest Survey of India 2009 report and the national average is 2.82 per cent.

Drip irrigation

The forest cover of the State is 17.94. Many farmers have opted for even drip irrigation for the teak plantations which are grown as intercrop agro forestry model. These trees over a period would help in keeping the environment clean, studies said.

The trees grown will enhance financial benefits to farmers and increate the area under tree cover in the State.

Timber

Timber produced from the farmlands will meet the demand of the future.

It is estimated that the industrial demand of the country is likely to increase from 58 million cu.m. in 2000 to 153 million cu.m. in 2020.

The import of timber and timber products had increased substantially from 2.45 million cu.m in. in 2001 to 16.7 million cu.m. in 2008.

The trees grown now would help in meeting the timber needs and reducing import.

V.S. Palaniappan from THE HINDU

Ooty: Action plan to combat bush fires

Udhagamandalam: An action plan has been drawn up to prevent the occurrence of bush fires during the current dry season, said the Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore, R. Kannan while speaking to presspersons here on Saturday.

Instructions have been issued to all the divisions to accord high priority to combat bush fires. He added that stringent action will be taken against people who started bush fires.

Measures

A number of steps are being taken to reduce man-elephant conflict. Pointing out that the areas affected include Coimbatore, Sathyamangalam, Sirumugai, Mettupalayam and Thadagam, he said that farmers have been requested to change agricultural practices in areas bordering the forests.

Fence

Solar fences have also been erected in places prone to such conflicts. To another query, he said that a system of de-worming wild elephants has been put in place.

When asked about the proposed public hearing with regard to the recent publication of a map of the Elephant Corridor in the Sigur Plateau of the Nilgiris district, Mr. Kannan said that so far about 150 objections have been received.

He added that along the Kallar-Jakkanarai elephant corridor some persons have offered to hand over 69 acres to the forest department.

The value of trees and land were in the process of being assessed.

From THE HINDU