While humanity was struggling with a virus that felt impossible to deal with at times, there was something that was looking up for the world. Nature had started to heal itself. Due to the absence of humans and the dramatic reduction of toxic greenhouse emissions, there was a significant improvement in the air and water quality. But that didn’t last long. Ever since the pandemic has seen its near end, the economies have started recovering and the environmental situations are only going to get worse. The situations will return to their pre-covid state, and that is a matter of concern for the ecological health of the world.
The environment is often taken for granted for all that it provides us with. We fail to realize that humans aren’t the centre of the ecosystem but just a part of it. The tiniest animals, birds, insects,
organisms, plants, and weather contribute immensely to a healthy ecosystem. One of the key elements for the existence of life on earth, the water bodies, take up about 70% of the earth’s surface, and 99% of the habitual space on earth lies in these water bodies. The poor health of these aquatic ecosystems severely affects the species depending on them. Many species of birds that once were very common are now rarely seen. Poor ecological settings are to blame. Let’s be honest, when was the last time you saw a house sparrow? It’s hard to recall, right? House sparrows are one of the widely sighted birds in India, but recent years have seen an aggressive fall in their sightings, and this is something to worry about since house sparrows are a sign of a habitable ecological system.
Creating an environment for the animals, birds, and vegetation to survive and keeping the ecology of a place alive by balancing the hydrology of the
surroundings is one of the things that will help the world in the fight against the climate crisis, and it is high time we start working towards it. With a motive to take a step towards the same direction,
Giving for Good Foundation partnered with Anandvan Foundation to implement a project to help the ecology of the Anandvan Urban Forest, Pune. Together, we identified the need for water bodies and sources of water inside Anandvan Urban Forest, which is also home to Pune's first Miyawaki Forest.
Over a span of two years, Giving for Good funded the development of four water ponds built and maintained entirely by humans and have no natural form. Three out of the four ponds were designed to bring water to thousands of shrubs and trees inside the urban forest, and so Giving for Good also funded the development of robust irrigation systems that efficiently water thousands of trees every day! The fourth pond was designed with a different agenda in mind – a water body built to attract local birds, land animals and pollinators. For this, proper soil and strata testing was conducted at the site to ensure that the pond was being constructed at the correct location. An ideal layout was designed for the pond to be animal and bird friendly. With the help of earthmoving machinery and skilled structural designers, the pond was built strategically, keeping in mind the best interest of the ecology. This water body that now holds approximately 35,000 liters of water will soon house a variety of species of water lilies to enhance it’s purpose.
That’s not it! Our green team of volunteers dedicated their hard work and time to manually digging holes and planting saplings around the pond and bordering it with rocks, which will only enhance the stability of the pond. Trees, apart from purifying the air, provide excellent habitat for countless animals and birds, some of which are pollinators, and hence, will eventually improve the green cover in the surroundings. A good oxygen level in a pond is what keeps it healthy, and the main source of oxygen in a pond comes from its atmosphere, so planting trees around it only makes it much more habitable and healthier for the wildlife to survive in and outside the water.
The Anandvan Pond Project is more than just a beautification model; these ponds and irrigation systems benefit the Anandvan Urban Forest's ecosystem and help us move a step closer to a cleaner and greener Pune. In a world where wrong choices can be so easily made, this is a positive action towards combating climate change and carbon neutrality for our own good! So next time you’re in Pune, visit Anandvan and witness the amazing work for yourself :)