Forests have nurtured mankind for ages and therefore are worshipped by many indigenous communities. The forests resemble the infinite circular economy of nature and are the epitome of sustainability and prosperity.
Community forests are created by engaging local communities, including them in the managerial decisions, considering their needs in the design process and offer them access and rights to forest resources.
We create community forest through agroforestry where the farmers grow trees on the contour bunds of their ryot land
Brook N Bees consider the following elements for impact creation while designing a Community forest.
Environment & Climate Change
a. Action on climate emergency-
Forests and trees are important carbon sinks. They absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it as carbon. Carbon sequestration by forests has been considered a relatively inexpensive means of addressing climate change immediately.
Biodiversity is the key difference between forest and plantation. Biodiversity is key to the resilience of forest ecosystems to climate change. Forests are among the most important repositories of terrestrial biological diversity. Forests offer very diverse habitats for plants, animals, and micro-organisms. Biological diversity is the basis for a wide array of goods and services provided by forests. In forests, biological diversity, in particular genetic diversity, allows species to adapt continuously to evolving environmental conditions (including climate change).
c. Water Conservation and Soil Conservation-
Forests, forest soils, and their interactions carry out key functions that contribute to food security and a healthy environment. Forests are rich in organic matter, which plays a vital role in enhancing soil fertility and helps soil to retain moisture.
Sustainably managed forests mitigate soil erosion and conserve soil. Tree roots stabilize ridge, hill, and slopes and provide the soil with the necessary mechanical structural support to prevent shallow movements of the landmass.
Sustainably managed forests contribute significantly to the systems. Forests provide and maintain the planet’s clean water supplies, ensures a balanced water cycle.
Forests are also a key component of watershed management – an integrated approach of using natural resources in a geographical area drained by a watercourse. Watershed management is an effective way to protect and rehabilitate areas prone to soil degradation and erosion in upland areas.
Watershed recharges and maintains groundwater level and is a primary source of irrigation water in a dry region.
Billions of people depend on the services provided by the forests for their livelihoods. Adaptation should be centered on the needs of these people.
We adopt the following methodology/means to create a synergy between community forest and rural livelihood
a) Incentivization on participation- Farmers are provided monetary support to maintain a tree for a certain period of time.
b) Access and rights to natural resources- Forests are a source of various natural resources such as
i) fodder for the livestock
ii) High-value Timber
iii) Non-Timber Forest produces(NTFP) such as Lac, wild silk, sal and kendu leaves, medicinal plants, fruit trees.
Growing and managing community forest on ryot land/bunds through afforestation offer the farmers full right and access to the natural resources which otherwise was difficult in case of forest land.
c) Increase land productivity by using fallow community land and ryot land/bunds for afforestation
Eco-Label(Certification) and Responsible forest management
In a community forest aggregation of raw materials takes place, which opens the door for direct selling of such materials.
We plan to get the community forest certified under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)and Organic (NPOP, USDA-NOP), such certification ensures
i) Raw materials come from an environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the forest.
ii) Higher profit margins.
iii) Credibility and business value for the product