GIVING BACK TO NATURE PROGRAMME
Giving back to nature initiative is a programme undertaken for Promoting Ecosystem Conservation for generating livelihood through Eco-tourism Development. Ecosystem Conservation will include both the existing and the Introduced Resources.
The Centre has been micropropagating various indigenous Orchids as a result of the Project funded by the Deptt. Of Biotechnology, Govt. Of India in which about a lakh numbers of these Orchids, in different stages of growth are being maintained. Thus, the Centre aims to transfers these Orchids back to their natural environment with the objective of benefiting Rural Communities. Rural Communities that have Community Forests and having willingness to take charge with ownership will be selected for establishment of the Community Orchid Parks in such Forests. These Forests (Orchid Parks/Sanctuaries) will eventually hosts multi-livelihood activities of these Villages or adjoining Villages and ultimately develop into the marketing Hub for different produces (Agricultural & Horticultural) and products (Green inputs, Crafts, etc). In the event that these Community Forests developed into recreational destination, the Village Communities should have the resources to suffice the visitors. Therefore, village Communities should be able to produce different food items produced organically as well as safe drinking water with traditional packages. Mementoes/Souvenirs for the Visitors which are unique to the Village would have to be produced so as the visitors carries back these to commemorate their visits.
Promoting Livelihood through Ecosystem Conservation for Promoting Heritage
- Establishment of Community Parks (Orchid, Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, Wildlife Parks, etc)
- Integration of Livelihood Activities into the Parks
- Marketing of Agricultural Produces/Products, Handicrafts, etc
Criteria for Selection of Village Communities
- Willingness of the Village Communities to own the responsibility for implementation.
- Availability of Village/Community Forest (minimum of a hectare) with water sources, non-pine vegetation cover, etc.
Strategy for Implementation
Once the demand is obtained from willing Village Communities having Community/Village Forest, the following preliminary activities are to be taken-up:
- Survey of the land/Forest including GPS mapping, etc.
- Identification of Floral (Orchids, Host trees, Medicinal plants, etc) and Faunal Resources within the Forest.
- Transfer of Orchids:
- Capacity building on propagation of orchids, production & application of green inputs, etc., including cost of production.
- Capacity building on Management Development and Skill sets enhancement for maintenance of the Park
- Orchids to be tied on suitable branches of host trees (preferably, one species on a single tree) for epiphytes and propagation of terrestrial species.
- Labelling the names and description of orchids (including existing species), host trees, etc.
- Analysis of the water quality within/around the Park which can be used for drinking and other purposes.
- Identification of Livelihood Activities (Agricultural, Non-farm, Innovations, etc) possible for dovetailing into the Park.
- Possibility of establishing Wellness Centres within the Park which should be managed by the Local Traditional Healers.
About 10 villages have been selected as per demand for implementing the giving back to nature programme in the 1st phase. A total number of 150 orchids have been distributed to each of the villages. The following are the villages where the programme has been initiated:
- Nongsynrieh, Mawkyrwat block, South West Khasi Hills.
- Phudjaud Rangthong, Mawkyrwat block, South West Khasi Hills.
- Lyngdoh Masi, Mairang Block, West Khasi hills
- Sangriang, Nongstoin Block, West Khasi hills
- Cham Cham, Khliehriat Block, East Jaintia hills
- Jarain, Amlarem Block, West Jaintia hills
- Thangbuli, Amlarem Block, West Jaintia hills
- Amwi- Shkenpyrsit, Amlarem Block, West Jaintia hills
- Iamkhon (28.07.2016), Umsning Block, Ri Bhoi
- Mawlyngbna (16.07.2016), Mawsynram Block, East Khasi Hills
- Pine Brook School, Umbang village, Ri-Bhoi District