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Taloja Watershed is a hill range adjoining the Taloja Lake and Owe dam. It is a watershed zone as it separates the rainwaters flowing to different water bodies including Taloja Lake in the near vicinity. It is situated close to Sector 35 C in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. The land belongs to Panvel Forest Dept. and the residents for Sector 35 have been carrying out environmental protection activity for the past few years. The forest department is keen that the local community take up the initiative of greening the hill. The hilly is largely denuded with fewer trees. There is an immediate requirement of soil control and afforestation of the hill. It will improve the water table as well as benefit the neighbouring Owe village as well. Additionally, it will enhance the biodiversity of the region.
Reforestation should be used to build forest networks that are surrounded by low-intensity land use and that provide links within regions and between biomes. By reforesting Taloja Hill we will be providing a healthy linkage among the hill ranges of Kharghar and Belapur.
Project Location: Sector 35I, Taloja Jail Road, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai
Project Duration: June 2020 - May 2023
Project Partner: Panvel Forest Dept.
Knowledge Partner: Ladybird Environmental Consultancy LLP.
Funding Agency: DCB Bank Ltd.
"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." ― Warren Buffett Therefore, reforestation builds and links forest networks surrounded by low-intensity land use and also links within regions and between biomes. Our film depicts how the reforestation of Taloja Hill is providing a healthy linkage among the hill ranges of Kharghar and Belapur.
We are excited to announce our new initiative, NatureXplore, where we offer wildlife excursions to our project site in Taloja. Our Free Nature-Based Excursions aim to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards, empowering them to become active advocates for preserving the planet's precious resources. Through these experiences, students gain invaluable insights, nurturing a lifelong love for nature and a commitment to its protection.
Step into the wild with us and join NatureXplore today!
Duration: Two hours
Batches: Morning (8 a.m. to 10 a.m.), Afternoon ( 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
Age group: 10-14 years
Group size: Above 25
Availability of Dates: Weekdays
Choose from the below Thematic Trails!
1. Nature's Detectives at Taloja Hill: Learning plant-animal interaction in nature
2.Water Wonders at Taloja Hill: Discovering Aquatic Ecosystems and Conservation
3. Eco-Adventurers at Taloja Hill: Embracing Outdoor Challenges and Teamwork.
Taloja Hill Forest, Kharghar
Our project is nearing completion, therefore we've decided to teach 25 naturalists as part of our naturalist training programme. In this session, participants learned about Taloja Hill and its biodiversity. There were two sessions, the first of which featured a Live Nature trail on Taoja Hill and the second a virtual lecture on biodiversity. As the event concluded, we gave our Naturalist with a Certificate and a Field Kit.
We celebrated the World Wildlife Day alongwith our 20 enthusiastic participants of Naturalist Training Programme and Alibaug Forest Dept. Officials Shri Sanjay Waghmode, ACF and his colleagues. They felicitated our participants with their certificates and field kits. It was indeed a lovely evening. Thanks to Jyoti Nadkarni for coordinating the event at Hyde Park.
Over the past three months, our caretakers have diligently worked to preserve and enhance the site's natural habitat. They have watered plants, repaired paths, built check dams, collected seeds, and made sapling bags. Climbers were removed to promote tree growth, and innovative earth plugs were placed to control soil erosion. The construction of four check dams has improved water retention and reduced soil erosion. Additional labor was hired for watering, and cow dung was collected for composting. The nursery received special care, resulting in healthy plants. The caretakers' dedication and passion have made a remarkable impact on the site's ecological balance and sustainable practices.
We conducted an ecosystem service valuation for Taloja Hills, Kharghar on 6,7,13,14 May 2023. The survey was conducted by Dr Prerana Chandak with an aim to quantify the benefits of the Taloja Hill forest through its ecosystem services. In urban settings like Taloja Hills, assessing and evaluating the ecosystem services of green spaces is crucial for understanding the services provided and implementing effective policies for their protection. The survey included people from various backgrounds, and the cost of ecosystem-based services was estimated to be 12,620 Rs/year/person using the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM). The study also assessed carbon sequestration, revealing the value of carbon capture and storage to be 3,396,612 INR/year in the present and a potential value of 31,222,967 INR/year in the future. The results obtained from the assessment and evaluation of ecosystem services and carbon sequestration can be used to formulate policies in collaboration with the forest department to ensure the better protection and conservation of Taloja Hills.
Most of the villages that are close to forests use firewood, a reliable biofuel, for cooking on a regular basis. Our foundation decided to survey to know the key element in the firewood consumption and other non-timber product habits of population living near our Taloja hills. The study was conducted using a primary questionnaire from a female and male in every house who goes to the forest on regular basis or twice a week to collect firewood and other nontimber goods. Our survey had 32 responses in total. Up to 53.1% of them are aware about the iNaturewatch Foundation’s plantation, and they are eager to collaborate with us on this initiative. Our goal is to evaluate the percentage of local communities that are still completely dependent on forest. Due to this project we are definitely trying to offer jobs and employment in future.
In the last three month, cocopeat and manure were mixed as mulch and used to help repair the damaged tree guards caused by cattle grazing at the site. The caretakers collected seeds from the site and planted fever nut in sapling bags in the nursery. The site was watered regularly by hand and work was done to eliminate invasive species. 27 fever nut seeds were planted in the nursery and all grew well. A new nursery was built by the caretaker. The review of the plantation began on March 8 and was done on March 13.
In the last three month, the caretakers continued their ring de-weeding work and added manure to the saplings. A grass cutting machine was used to expedite the work. Drone shooting for a video was conducted on 14th and 15th October 2022. Caretakers continued with ring de-weeding work and added manure to the saplings. The biodiversity survey was also conducted and collected seeds of native wild plants for growing new saplings in the nursery. Saplings in the nursery were watered regularly. The caretakers also created fire lines, watered the plants, and conducted mulching and composting activities.
In the last three month, laborers were hired at the Taloja Hill site for making sapling bags and carrying out soil enrichment work. They dug pits and planted around 180 trees of different species, including Beheda, Ceylon Oak, Shemat, Nevari, Ain, and White Silk Cotton. A total of 318 saplings of 10 species arrived for plantation. The volunteers made 281 sapling bags, including Sitafal and Kanchan seeds. Composting work was done by caretakers. We conducted a volunteer event at the site for a plantation drive, sapling bag making, and de-weeding activities.
The denuded environment is improving, and the saplings are developing well, according to the biodiversity survey and planting evaluation. However, the plantation suffered throughout the scorching heat because of a watering problem because there were no caretakers on duty. The issue was solved by employing labourers. By hiring workers, the saplings were watered twice a week. People are becoming more informed, and more and more of them are joining us for volunteer work. Many of them are also being proactive by alerting the project's WhatsApp groups to any accidents that occur on the site. We appreciate the solid connections we were able to create within the neighbourhood. We have high expectations for this project and are doing everything we can to make it a success.
In the last three months, we have conducted plantation review, grass mulching, watering, and tree guard installations for all our plants at the Taloja site. This was done to prepare the site for the onset of Summer. Volunteering activities were conducted along with educational nature walks to celebrate various eco days. We have had to deal with constant fires at the site.
In the past five months, we have conducted the seasonal biodiversity survey for monsoon season 2021, carried out plantation maintenance activities like Ring de-weeding, grass pressing, mulching, conducted monthly stakeholder engagement activities and carried out plantation review. A total of 123 species of plants and animals were recorded during monsoon 2021 surveys. We observed Plants (68), insects (15), amphibians (5), birds (26), reptiles (8), and mammals (1). 51 local volunteers and community members participated in 6 volunteering events. New caretakers were appointed as the earlier caretakers were not performing properly. The review of plants recorded around 2359 saplings dead (mortality rate 30%) with 5259 surviving out of the 7902 (5000 project target) planted. apart from this, we have also had to deal with constant forest fires, and watering issues at the site, for which we have also completed the installation of new water tanks in different locations for the ease of hydrating plants.
In April 2021 we have entered the second phase of the project. During the quarter, we conducted the seasonal biodiversity survey for summer 2021, did plantation, raised saplings in the community forest nursery with the help of the locals, conducted monthly stakeholder engagement activities and carried out sapling maintenance and plantation review. We planted a total 6969 saplings of 40 species including 1727 trees, 4157 herbs and 1085 shrubs at the Hill. We observed species of Plants (62), insects (16), amphibians (2), birds (24), reptiles (3), and mammals (1) during our surveys. We engaged 105 local volunteers and community members who participated in 6 volunteering events. New caretakers were appointed as the earlier caretakers were not performing properly. The review of plants recorded approx. 27% mortality (389 saplings dead with 1032 surviving out of the 1421 planted in first phase). More than 1000 plant saplings of various wild species were raised in the forest nursery with help of local volunteers. The raised saplings have been planted along the hills. We also created pathway for three nature trails. A professional video is getting developed for which we undertook drone shooting as well.
During the past six months, a seasonal biodiversity survey was conducted and raised a community forest nursery with the help of the locals. Monthly stakeholder engagement activities were also initiated and carried out sapling maintenance and plantation review. 71 local volunteers participated in 7 volunteering events. In 2 nature awareness programmes initiated by the team, 12 participants attended. 200 SVT tree guards were uninstalled, due to the forest fire incident. A new caretaker was appointed as the earlier caretaker was not taking care of the plantation property. The plantation review recorded approx. 20% mortality (278 saplings dead with 1138 surviving out of 1421 planted). 81 species of plants, 59 species of birds, 4 species of herpetofauna, and 8 species of insects were recorded at the site. A forest nursery was created and raised more than 1000 saplings of various wild species with help of local volunteers.
In the past six months, 15 contour bunds were created with the plantation of 1421 saplings (321 trees, 750 shrubs and 350 herbs). A local volunteer group was formed in which 33 participated in seven volunteering events. A nature awareness programmes were also initiated wherein two events were conducted with 22 participants attending the event. 200 SVT tree guards were installed at the site. Meetings with the local community members as well as neighbouring villages were conducted. A caretaker was appointed and all grass was cleared to avoid fire hazard during dry months. Soil and water samples were analysed. Summer and monsoon biodiversity surveys were also conducted to assess the overall biodiversity. The review report comprised of approx.13% mortality of recorded plants (180 saplings with 1241 surviving). 25 species of birds, 8 species of herpetofauna, 23 species of insects and 50 species of plants were also recorded.
You can help in creating a community forest besides the project mandate of 5000 saplings by helping us plant additional 1000 saplings.
You can choose to plant virtually. We will do real-time plantation and share photos and coordinates and care for them.
You can pledge a sapling for just Rs.500/- per sapling. We will plant a 6-month-old sapling and care for it for 3 years.