Indian man single-handedly plants 1300 acre forest

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DJ Droood
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Indian man single-handedly plants 1300 acre forest

Post by DJ Droood » 03 Apr 2012, 00:02

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-scien ... orest.html
A little over 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began burying seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in northern India's Assam region to grow a refuge for wildlife. Not long after, he decided to dedicate his life to this endeavor, so he moved to the site where he could work full-time creating a lush new forest ecosystem. Incredibly, the spot today hosts a sprawling 1,360 acre of jungle that Payeng planted single-handedly.

The Times of India recently caught up with Payeng in his remote forest lodge to learn more about how he came to leave such an indelible mark on the landscape:

It all started way back in 1979 when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. One day, after the waters had receded, Payeng , only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. That was the turning point of his life.

"The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms. It was carnage . I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me. Nobody was interested," says Payeng, now 47.

While it's taken years for Payeng's remarkable dedication to planting to receive some well-deserved recognition internationally, it didn't take long for wildlife in the region to benefit from the manufactured forest. Demonstrating a keen understanding of ecological balance, Payeng even transplanted ants to his burgeoning ecosystem to bolster its natural harmony. Soon the shadeless sandbar was transformed into a self-functioning environment where a menagerie of creatures could dwell. The forest, called the Molai woods, now serves as a safe haven for numerous birds, deers, rhinos, tigers, and elephants -- species increasingly at risk from habitat loss elsewhere.

Despite the conspicuousness of Payeng's project, Forestry officials in the region first learned of this new forest in 2008 -- and since then they've come to recognize his efforts as truly remarkable, but perhaps not enough.

"We're amazed at Payeng," says Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia. "He has been at it for 30 years. Had he been in any other country, he would have been made a hero."
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Re: Indian man single-handedly plants 1300 acre forest

Post by Equidae » 03 Apr 2012, 00:48

That's pretty cool. He reminds me of this African woman who I believe is from Nigeria, and who essentially single handedly started and led the environmental movement in her country. I can't believe I forgot her name, but I heard an NPR interview with her, and she sounded like one awesome lady.
“So you're made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?” - Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Re: Indian man single-handedly plants 1300 acre forest

Post by gendon » 03 Apr 2012, 09:41

It kind of puts the idea of planting a Grove into prospective don't you think, it just doesn't seam quite so daunting having read about Payeng.

But there are such things happening, on a much smaller scale, each day, such as 'Gorila planting'. I remember when I was knee high, making my way to school on the bus, how one of the passengers would at one point in the journey open the little window by his seat and empty a packet of seeds to the wind at the same point each day. He never said anything, and no one asked. But over the next few months all along that part of the rout, flowers started to grow. It all seemed magical to me.
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Re: Indian man single-handedly plants 1300 acre forest

Post by Lily » 03 Apr 2012, 12:43

bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

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Re: Indian man single-handedly plants 1300 acre forest

Post by Dathi » 23 Jun 2012, 21:36

Lily, I love that story.

But here is a challenge from the Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference yesterday. Delegates commit to planting 100 million trees http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?N ... pment&Cr1=

Time to get cracking, huh. Druids to lead the way. These UN bunfights are big on talk.

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