We in Melkote over the last 30 years have seen the forest around us disappear at a dreadful speed. Many native species were lost before we understood our precarious situation. Most of the trees disappeared because of the demand for firewood and for timber. To meet the increasing demand the government began introducing exotic species like Eucalyptus and Acacia to the area. Although the new species helped to meet the demand to some extent, over the last three decades they have taken over the entire area and led to monoculture with little space or scope for native varieties to survive. The exotic varieties do not fit into the local situation and local flora and fauna have failed to survive.
The dynamics of the environment have been distorted leading to the depletion of the water table, reduced soil fertility, migration of native birds and wild animals. This situation is not just happening in Melkote, it is prevalent in the whole country. The problems are compounded by Global Warming, which is being experienced across the world. Every government is under pressure to act and control the global environmental crisis. However we believe it is not just for the government, but also for each and every responsible individual to act save our mother earth.
One of the most important measures we can take is to bring back the green cover. But green cover using exotic species is not the solution; it should be made up of local species. However, as previously described, many of the local species have almost disappeared, so the challenge is to recover the native varieties, conserve them and propagate them.
As a humble action to save the planet in its own limited capacity the Trust has thought of a project called ‘Nene Bana’ (A forest of reminiscence). Under the project, Ten acres of dry land which belongs to Trust has been set aside to plant all the native verities of the area and also start a nursery to supply the native varieties of plants to interested people and farmers in and around Melkote with the intention of reviving them in the area. Well known environmentalists Sri. Sundarlal Bahuguna and Smt. Vimala Bahuguna have blessed the project and initiated it by planting a Pipal Tree on 19th Dec 2009.