WHAT WE DO
My Forest is an initiative of Pune NGO Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) committed to on-ground forest conservation in the Northern Western Ghats, specifically in forest areas which are privately owned and are under urgent threats of deforestation due to lack of conservation knowledge and changing value systems.
The clearing and burning of forest lands account for almost 20% of all global Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. In comparison, the global transportation sector (which includes road, rail and air travel) emits 14% of all GHG emissions. There is more carbon in Forests than in the atmosphere and they can act as vital carbon sinks. That is why, saving the existing forest cover is the easiest way to combat climate change.
Through My Forest, our mission is to halt the loss of forests by making the cause of ‘conservation’ economically viable for private forest landowners with the help of our many patrons and nature enthusiasts from around the world. It is also an initiative to harness the power of people further by involving the urban population in a cause which is incidentally connected to them. It is a platform for people from any social, economic and education background to come together for a cause of biodiversity conservation which is universal and all-inclusive- both in its benefits and its repercussions!
We invoke participation from every environmentally aware citizen to help us in the herculean task of saving and regenerating these forest patches which lack government support but are immensely important biodiversity havens, carbon sinks and wildlife corridors in the Northern Western Ghats.
WE ENSURE THAT OUR
DON'T SEE THIS FATE
Since 1994, the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) has been pioneering on-ground forest conservation in the Sahyadri-Konkan region within the Northern Western Ghats. AERF has initiated ‘Conservation Agreements’ with the private forest owners under which they pledge to protect their forest lands for five or ten years against logging and unsustainable use. In return, AERF channels direct and indirect monetary benefits for them through creation and execution of an ABS (Access and Benefit Sharing) mechanism for the NTFPs (Non Timber Forest Produce) from that forest land. AERF has successfully followed the ‘Conservation Agreements’ approach, introducing sustainable forest-based livelihood options and a range of economic opportunities in lieu of forest protection. AERF also guides the local community towards sustainable forest management through various capacity building exercises, regular workshops and knowledge dissemination sessions.
AERF has also developed nurseries of indigenous tree and plant species at various sites in order to aid the slow process of forest regeneration. As part of the ABS mechanism, there are various agroforestry and plantation projects undertaken intermittently to counter the deforestation and degradation of these forests.
Through this holistic approach, AERF has secured conservation of 5066 acres of private forests in 10 different villages till the year 2028.