The goal of Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development’s Conserve initiative is to conserve natural resources through a participatory approach and maintain ecological balance.
Natural resource management is an integral part of sustainability and is necessary for the development and sustenance of humans and society. Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) has been involved in various environment and natural resource conservation projects across company locations.
An eco-sensitive zone, TCSRD’s focus in Mithapur has been to conserve and restore the bio-diversity and coastal eco-system of the area.
TCSRD is promoting the use of solar energy-run products for both domestic and external use.
TCSRD is running the mangrove rejuvenation programme in Sundarbans and is also promoting the use of bio-gas plants and energy-efficient cook stoves.
The comprehensive initiative at Mithapur has been named ‘Dharti Ko Aarpan’ under the sustainability umbrella, and the various programmes include whale shark conservation, recovery of coral reefs, bio-diversity reserve plantation, restoration of mangroves in coastal areas, conservation of marine turtles and eco clubs.
TCSRD has also been promoting technology for land and water management in operational areas like construction of check dams, land reclamation, maintaining soil fertility through the use of organic fertilisers and efficient use of the irrigation system, which leads to sustainable livelihoods. The land and water management programme not only helps in the promotion of livelihoods but also helps in preventing degradation of natural resources. Therefore, the programmes are intertwined with poverty alleviation programmes.
To maintain ecological balance and conserve natural resources through participatory approach for environment sustainability, TCSRD has embarked on various projects including whale shark conservation, coral reef recovery project, gugal plantation project, biodiversity reserve plantation project, mangrove plantation project, eco club programs, marine turtle monitoring and rural energy.
TCSRD has been engaged in protecting the whale shark which is the largest fish and has been declared as one of the endangered species. Since its inception in 2004, the project has been able to rescue 79 whale sharks during last year, and has been able to rescue 670 whale sharks which were accidentally caught in fishing nets.
TCSRD has been working for restoration of mangrove cover at the Rukshmani Creek site near Dwarka. Work on maintenance of plantation continued and the site was kept free of “Entromorpha” algae which is a problem for the tender seedlings and results in high mortality. A nursery was established at Arambda salt works and 21,000 seedlings of the Avicennia marina mangrove species raised. The same were transplanted at Rukshmani site with a survival rate of more than 90 per cent.
The Vibrant Gujarat MOU Gugal plantation project has been taken up for development of a 30 acre exclusive plantation of this endangered species at Mithapur. The aim of this project is to conserve the local strains of the Gugal plants (a slow growing desert plant, much valued for its resin which finds wide application in preparation of medicines for cardiac and blood lipid problems) to be found in Okhamandal region.