Neem trees, one of the shade trees being planted in this project, lining a street. Credit: William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management Internatiional

Project Name:
Strengthening Pillaiarkuppam-Gingee River Bunds of Puducherry, India

Pillaiarkuppam Village, Puducherry, India

Key Activities:

  • Planting 64,102 trees across 130 acres
  • Educating the local population about reforestation, climate change, and food and water security

Project Description:
For the fourth year in a row, American Forests and the Resource Institute of Social Education (RISE) are reforesting a riparian ecosystem along the Gingee River in Puducherry, India, by planting more than 64,000 trees comprised of 20 different native species, including banyan, peepal, neem, Indian rosewood, and pongam trees.

Why This Project:
Planting trees along the Gingee River mitigates soil erosion and limits the amount of pollution that can flow into the river. Reforesting 130 acres of riparian zones increases the amount of green cover in the region, maintains the supply of groundwater and helps to combat the effects of climate change on nearby communities.

In addition, the project is being promoted through demonstrations, a seminar on climate change, celebrations for World Earth Day and World Forest Day and a door-to-door information campaign; all designed to increase local stewardship of the area’s forests and trees.

Why the Gingee River:
Water is one of the most important resources in this region of India. Locals rely on the Gingee River for their drinking water and agricultural irrigation. Planting more trees near the Gingee recharges the groundwater and stimulates the flow of the river and local streams.

Trees also provide shade for the river, which lowers water temperatures, and act as shelters for domesticated animals. Just as the people of the Puducherry territory depend on the flow of the Gingee and other rivers, the Gingee River ecosystem depends on tree cover to remain healthy and stable. 

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