World Environment Day is observed each year on 5th June to engage businesses, governments and citizens to address environmental challenges. Tata Chemicals with its long standing commitment to environment protection and ecological conservation celebrated World Environment Day with a series of plantation activities in Mithapur.
In line with this year’s theme of ‘Ecosystem Restoration’, Tata Chemicals has initiated a dry deciduous forest development project which will be spread over 25 acres. As the Company has always prioritized employee wellbeing and safety throughout the pandemic, this project got-off to a symbolic start with a total of 21 saplings of local species being planted, the remaining areas would be covered in a phased manner.
The month of June is celebrated as Sustainability Month across the Tata Group and as part of this initiative; Tata Chemicals will be conducting several programmes such as quizzes, contests, webinars, and pledges by employees and other stakeholders to protect the environment.
The Company has taken up several plantation initiatives for the development of open scrub forest, for coastal sand dunes stabilization through reintroduction of indigenous flora species, and grassland development. As part of this initiative, mangrove plantation for rehabilitation of tidal mudflats will also be the focus with plantation of 50,000 seedlings of Avicennia marina species during the current year. A total of around 10,000 trees saplings of dry deciduous forest species will be grown at Mithapur over the next two years.
A study of the dry deciduous forest species to be found growing at the two wildlife sanctuaries in the region – i.e. the Barda Sanctuary and the Gir Sanctuary was conducted. It highlighted the species that can survive the climatic conditions at Mithapur. Basis the study these species were considered for the plantation drive.
Some of the tree species that were propagated included Khakhar (Butea monosperma), Umro (Ficus racemosa), Vad (Ficus bengalensis), Jambun (Syzygium cumini), Karanj (Pongamia pinnata), Pangaro (Erythrina variegata), Kotha (Feronia elephantum), Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), Ber (Zizyphus mauritiana), Gundi (Cordia monoica), Ragat Rohido (Tecomella undulata), Savan (Gmelina arborea), Ingoriya (Balanites roxburghii), Bili (Crateva marmelos), Garmalo (Cassia fistula), Piloo (Salvadora persica), Neem (Azadirachta indica), Rayan (Manilkara hexandra), Goras amli (Mimosa dulcis), and Timru (Diospyros melanoxylon).
Ms. Alka Talwar, Head – CSR & Sustainability, Tata Chemicals said, “We have been strongly advocating zero harm to the environment, and ensuring ecological restoration and protection as one of the key pillars of our corporate focus. As part of our sustainability initiatives, we run multiple biodiversity conservation programmes like recovery of coral reef, the whale shark project, mangrove plantation, rejuvenating indigenous flora and fauna, and environmental education sessions. We dedicate the month of June as the Sustainability month across the Company locations and all our employees take active participation in the activities planned. We aim to continue our momentum to create a positive impact on the environment.”
Tata Chemicals’ Whale Shark project focusses on its habitat study and research on migratory pattern and breeding biology. Since its inception in 2004, the project has successfully rescued and released 813 whale sharks till date.
Its coral reef restoration project, which began in 2008 is focused on mapping the biodiversity and the boundary of the Mithapur coral reef. The project has been instrumental in the creation of 3,149.6 sq. m of additional hard surface area in the form of artificial reef structures. The restoration of Mithapur reef will aid in strengthening habitats and in the enrichment of marine species, thus helping the sustenance of biodiversity of the marine sanctuary protected area.
Tata Chemicals will continue its focus on biodiversity conservation and will accelerate its initiatives to recharge and restore the ecosystem.