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Central Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests, North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests



Raghavendra Rao

Independent Consultant

I’m passionate about restoring degraded ecosystems and have been pursuing my passion for the past three decades. When in my Master’s in Pondicherry University my classmates and I set about restoring a patch of land in the University campus. I was particularly interested in the soil and moisture conservation aspect. We made contour trenches and vegetatively stabilised them with local grasses and shrubs. Subsequently I did similar work at Rishi Valley School in Madanapalli and was part of their afforestation project funded by the National Wastelands Development Board. We restored a degraded patch of 15 acres in Didgi Village near Zaheerabad where the campus of the Deccan Development Society’s Krishi Vigyana Kendra operates from. Apart from this I have in my personal capacity done soil and moisture conservation work at private lands in Igatpuri, Nashik district and at a farm close to Karjat. I’ve also done water conservation and afforestation with native species in a farm at Kota, Rajasthan. When I was in the FAO of the UN, I have trained farmers in Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India about the importance of water conservation and choice of appropriate indigenous species for afforestation and agro-forestry. In Mizoram, I trained a group of farmers in practically marking our contours lines on their undulating land. I emphasised the importance of trenching and bunding to save valuable top soil and reduce erosion by run-off rain water.