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  Home >> Gardens, Playgrounds & Trees >> BMC asks NGOs to help count trees

 
 
This time the exercise will include identification of the species of flora  (26

 The Tree Authority, a statutory authority set up by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), is planning to issue tenders inviting NGOs and volunteers to count the city’s trees. Apart from the counting the trees in the city, the exercise would also identify their species. The last tree census was conducted five years ago.

    According to the last census, there were around 5,24,000 trees in the city’s municipal limits. “A large number of trees have been planted since then. But many trees have been cut down in building and road-widening projects,” said Madhu Sawant, member of the Tree Authority.

    Every year during the monsoons, the BMC plants at least a lakh saplings on the city’s gardens and roads. However, there has been no attempt to find out how many of these saplings actually survive after the rains. The earlier trees census were carried out by students. This time, the BMC plans to involve NGOs like Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) in the process to make it more authentic.

The increased construction and road-widening activity in the city has destroyed thousands of trees. Though the Tree has to give permission for tree-felling in the city, it has been largely ineffective in preventing illegal cutting of trees. The census will create a database on the city’s trees, including the species diversity and their health. Beena Menon, member of the National Organisation of the Friends of Trees said that to find the truth about Mumbai’s vanishing green cover, trees in the Borivali National Park should be left out of the census. “The national park is a special area and if trees in the park are included in the census, it will give a misleading picture of the city’s green cover,” she said.

 
According to the last census, there were around 5,24,000 trees in the city’s municipal limits.
 
 
Publication:Mumbai Mirror;  Date: Dec 13, 2005;  Section:City;  Page Number:8
 
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Response to BMC asks NGOs to help count trees


Measurement/census should include both the national park and the city under 2 different heads. Without measurement there can be no progress or analysis of any measures taken by the tree authority to improve tree cover. Measurement is the only way people can know what system (tree authority) is working and how well its working.

The audit/census has to be carried out by ngos. The tree authority cannot be the judge and the thief at the same time. It should have
transparency in its working but first funds earmarked for the tender must be given to responsible ngos/activists who can make an action plan beyond the one time census to involve periodic review and pulling up of the tree authority.

What cannot be measured cannot be improved. Even after the measurement is over, the data will remain in the hands of the govt (that is the way govt works and hoards power by limiting the flow of information)

Kussh
December 14, 2005

 



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