Green Story

The Chipko(Tree-Hugger) Movement

Chipko Movement

Ever heard the words, you have got to fight for what you want; if you don't stand up for your rights, then who will? In short, you have to take matters into your own hands instead of being passive and just wishing the problem away. And take matters into their own hands is exactly what a group of villagers did. They literally clung (chipko, loosely translated meaning hugged) on to their rights.

 

Chipko Movement

In 1974, in a small village named Reni located in the Himalayas, a group of female villagers stood their ground, embraced their beloved trees and saved their forest. They refused to let the contractor system of the State Forest Department decide their fate and rob them of their right to a better life. The trees do more than give aesthetic appeal to the village, they provide protection from landslides, they provide cleaner air, and they stop the erosion of land. The land that is important to the villagers for their and their live-stocks survival. Their protest paid off and their act of bravery inspired many similar acts on a grassroots level for forest protection. In the 1987, the Chipko Movement was awarded The Right Livelihood Award.

 

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Project Green Hands

There was a huge, viral tree planting movement that aims to reverse desertification, malnutrition and poverty within Tamil Nadu under a project named Project Green Hand (PGH). PGH was launched during the World Environment week in June 2004 by Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev. PGH's first major mass tree planting commenced with planting the first sapling at his Gopala puram residence in Chennai and it concluded with the final sapling being planted by His Excellency Surjit Singh Barnala , Governor of Tamilnadu at Raj Bhavan.

 

The Marathon resulted in 852,587 saplings being planted in 6284 locations across 27 districts in Tamilnadu by over 256,289 volunteers in just three days. This event resulted in the setting of a Guinness World Record for the most trees planted in three days.

 

In the targeted plantation zones , PGH gives paramount importance to beneficiary motivation. By including all beneficiaries in the process , instilling a strong sense of ownership & by building up a relationship between people & trees.

 

PGH seeks to ensure the sustainability of the program. The involvement of women and children is also a cornerstone of PGH's policies and the child focused group discussions held in rural areas are a valuable tool used by PGH.

 

PGH was awarded the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar by the Government of India under the Organization category for the year 2008. The award was presented on World Environment Day, June 5 2010, to the founder of PGH, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev by the former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

 

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The 13-year-old tree ambassador

- By Whitney Hurst, CNN (modified)

It's not every day that a 13-year-old boy gets a chance to address the United Nations General Assembly. But Felix Finkbeiner is no ordinary teenager. Finkbeiner is already the head of his own organization, Plant for the Planet, dedicated to planting millions of trees all around the world. At the U.N. earlier this month, Finkbeiner had one item on his agenda: taking adults to task for their lack of action on planting trees In the normally staid U.N, his message to the adults was simple: "stop talking and start planting."

 

Finkbeiner warned the countries that disappearing trees would create a climate crisis for children's future. "We children understand that the adults know everything about these crises, but we children don't understand why there's so little action," he said. Plant for the Planet was founded in, of all places, a fourth grade classroom in his native Germany.

 

Finkbeiner believes this tree crusade can only be successful if it is led by children children. "We children are the majority in the world but we can only make a difference if we work together. So we have to work together because if we do this, we can have a big impact," he says.

 

This tree-planting campaign has already had an impact worldwide.Finkbeiner says there are 100,000 children participating in 91 countries with 3.5 million trees planted.

 

Later on further uptown, Finkbeiner addressed an entire audience of teens at a New York City middle school. His speech was a battle cry to his peers. "It's not about saving the polar bear. It's about saving our future." Finkbeiner offered the students,who rarely see trees in the concrete jungle of Manhattan, some suggestions on planting trees. He encouraged the students to organize tree-planting parties in their community. Twitter and Facebook could be used to spread the word on tree events,Finkbeiner told the curious group of youngsters. For those seeking even more sophisticated means of getting news out, Finkbeiner offered tips on writing press releases.

 

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