Courier co ‘delivers’ 1.11 lakh trees to green Kanha-Pench wildlife corridor

News Clip: Times of India

22nd September, 2020

Blue Dart Express Ltd (BDEL), a logistics service provider, is planting 1.11 trees in collaboration with Grow-Trees in the Kanha-Pench wildlife corridor. The project will be completed by this year-end.

The trees being planted include indigenous species like tamarind, shisham, siras, teak, karanj, custard apple, ber, kateswari, and other species. These trees are likely to offset 22.22 lakh kg of carbon annually on maturity.

“Preserving ecosystem around the reserves, rebuilding wildlife habitats, and supporting tribal communities are some of the objectives of the drive. Permission has been taken from the gram panchayats to plant trees in the periphery of Pench on panchayat land. Forest officials were consulted for selecting tree species,” said officials of the company, which is part of the Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL).

“We’ve been planting trees in the same region for the past three years to boost forest cover for conserving wildlife habitat. The project also focuses to provide non-timber forest products upon maturity of trees to help rural communities meet their requirements and stop them from entering the forest, reducing man-animal conflict cases,” they said.

Balfour Manuel, MD, Blue Dart, said, “Sustainability has been an integral part of our parent company DPDHL. Our main objective is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and protect the environment. Planting these 1.11 lakh trees is another step in this direction.”

Blue Dart has earlier planted 2.22 lakh trees in the Kanha-Pench corridor. The unique project has helped revive the biodiversity of the region, reducing man-animal conflict while providing direct employment to over 70 families every year, creating around 5,600 workdays during pit digging and plantation activities alone. Even during tough times of the pandemic, immense support was provided to the villagers by the distribution of dry ration and generation of employment opportunities.

Bikrant Tiwary, CEO, Grow-Trees, says, “The region’s economy is majorly dependent on agricultural activities, which tend to get hampered by animal invasion. The trees planted in the region will provide resources required to sustain the tiger population in the forests and also benefit rural locals.”

Since 2017, BDEL has planted 4.52 lakh trees across 5 Indian states of Odisha, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Sikkim, which is expected to offset about 9 million kg of its carbon footprint.

“The region marked as Pench Tiger Reserve is home to a significant population of India’s tigers and ranked among the world’s most important tiger habitats. The purpose of choosing the wildlife corridor between Pench and Kanha for this year’s drive was to allow the tiger population residing in the region more mobility, which in turn improves their chances of survival and growth,” says Tiwary.

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