Bhubaneswar, June 5 (LocalWire): Odisha needs to plant more cyclone-resilient trees to deal with threats like cyclone Fani.
According to environmentalist Prof Radhamohan, given the current scenario of global warming and Odisha’s vulnerability to climate change, the state is likely to face cyclonic storms like Fani more frequently.
“Even as severe cyclonic storm Fani has damaged millions of trees in the state, it is high time we thought of cyclone-resilient trees,” he said.
He was addressing a consultation programme on Restoration of Greenery post-Fani and to prepare a Green Road Map for the state.
Prof Radhamohan suggested that cyclone-resilient trees like Neem, Patali, Saptaparni, Pesta Badam, Arjuna, Jamun, Kusum, Ou, Sunari, Tamarind, Acacia Mangium, Chironjee, Champa, and Kanchana should be considered for avenue plantation.
“Besides, species like cashew, Casuarina, Acacia auriculiformis, sissoo, bamboo, American silk cotton can also be considered for commercial plantation.”
He also urged the government to think about the regeneration of damaged trees and replantation of uprooted trees.
Commenting on the decision by many affected people not to plant trees near their houses, Prof Radhamohan explained that there was no problem in planting trees near houses.
He, however, cautioned that people should avoid planting big trees in the North direction of a house. “It is because the direction of the wind during cyclones is generally North-East or North West,” he said.
CYSD founder and mentor Jagadananda said that massive plantation through a convergence mode was needed to compensate for the green loss.
“This requires collective action from the government, civil society organizations, community-based organizations, and corporates,” he said.
Speaking on the restoration plan, principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) Dr Sandeep Tripathy said that the government has chalked out a plan for plantation on 6,000 hectares of land in the next five years.
“The area includes coastal belt, forest land, and roadsides. Around 50 lakh seedlings will be distributed free of cost and around 25 lakh seedlings out of this will be planted in urban areas,” he said.
Dr Tripathy proposed plantation of casuarina trees that are disaster resilient and protect the environment by reducing wind velocity.
He also said that since there was a dearth of disaster-resilient saplings in the state, the government is planning to seek support from neighboring states to source it.
Environmentalist Sabarmatee urged the people of affected areas not to burn the fallen trees and leaves. She said those plant residues are actually bio-resource and can be used in the preparation of bio-manure. Sabarmatee also explained the method of preparation of bio-manure.
The consultation was attended by senior officials of Forest Department, Directorate of Horticulture, Coconut Development Board and Cashew Research Station, environmentalists, civil society leaders, panchayat representatives from affected areas, and official of the National Service Scheme and National Youth Project.
It was organised by the Civil Society Responds to FANI (CSRF), a group of civil society organisations and the Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD).