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30 Mar, 2018

International Day of Forests 2018

Summary

Forests are one of nature’s great providers. A source of water and food security, they also give us everything from paper and medicine to renewable energy, low-tech air conditioning and air cleansers. They also protect and enrich biodiversity and are a major tool in the fight against climate change.

Ask several people what a forest is and their answers will probably differ. This is because forests are busy and complex living worlds. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The theme for 2018 is Forests and Sustainable Cities.

This global celebration of forests provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us. This year we highlight the importance of forests in powering sustainable cities, improving people’s lives and mitigating climate change.

Introduction

Forests and trees store carbon, which helps mitigate the impacts of climate change in and around urban areas; Trees also improve the local climate, helping to save energy used for heating by 20-50 percent; Urban trees are excellent air filters, removing harmful pollutants in the air and fine particulates; Trees reduce noise pollution, as they shield homes from nearby roads and industrial areas; Forests in and around urban areas help to filter and regulate water, contributing to high-quality freshwater supplies for hundreds of millions of people.

Well-managed forests and trees in and around cities provide habitats, food and protection for many plants and animals, helping to maintain and increase biodiversity; Forests in cities and surrounding areas generate tourism, create tens of thousands of jobs and encourage city beautification schemes, building dynamic, energetic and prosperous green economies; Urban green spaces, including forests, encourage active and healthy lifestyles, improve mental health, prevent disease, and provide a place for people to socialize.

Keeping all that mind and in order to bring awareness about the importance of trees and forests, the Karnataka State Forest Department along with Anti-Pollution Drive Foundation- Mangaluru and Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt Ltd (the company that handles disposal of waste/garbage for Mangaluru City Corporation} organized “International Forest Day” on 21 March 2018 at Tree Park-Tannibavi, Mangaluru. Nearly 100 students participated in the programme, who also took part in the Debate, Drawing, Poster Making and Quiz.

This is part of APD Foundation’s yearlong resolution to celebrate all the eco-friendly days. Although the theme for International Forest Day 2018 is “Forests and Sustainable Cities”, but the organizers have decided to have a local theme “Trees Over Hoardings”. ‘Hence APD team has decided to promote ‘Trees over Hoardings’ concept to highlight the need to reverse the growing trend of trees being cut or felled to accommodate the rising numbers of advertisement hoardings in Mangalore city,” said Abdullah A Rehman-Chief Executive & founder of APD Foundation. The Day was inaugurated by planting a sapling in the Tree Park vicinity by chief guest Mahesh Nayak- Proprietor of Iris Design/Advisory Board Member of APD, along with guest of honor-P. Sridhar, Range Forest Officer, Mangaluru; Abdullah A Rehman, founder of the APD Foundation; Venkateshwara- Deputy Range Officer; and Rekha Sachin-Forest Guard.

Addressing the gathering chief guest Mahesh Nayak said, “If we look around the City, many trees or trees branches are being cut to make way for advertisement hoardings. This is illegal to cut trees without permission from the concerned authorities, but still people do it. Also if you look around the city due to infrastructure, the high raises stand taller than the trees, thereby taking away the natural beauty of the city. Mangaluru which was once a green city has turned into a concrete city, with high rise buildings, apartments etc, thereby killing the clean and green environment. Through programmes like these we need to bring awareness among the people that they should not cut trees, instead protect them for a clean and green environment”

“Nobody would be able to escape adverse effect of this destruction. The disappearance of forests results in changing rainfall pattern and causing drought conditions in large areas. There is a report that about 25 per cent of all the drugs are derived from trees. Trees also yield vital industrial oils, resins and dyes. Now we understand the importance of forests in the country’s economy. We also realize their value in maintaining the ecological balance. Now the government tries to save the forest land and reserve forest in the country. But the destruction of forests continues lakh of fresh trees are planted every year in India but they perish, for lack of care. While we celebrate International Forest day, we should see that we care for the trees and not cut them unnecessarily. I encourage and advise all you students to tour around this Tree Park and learn more about various Trees and also visit the information centre and get more details about forests and trees”added Shridhar.

Participant’s students took part in various contests like Debate, Quiz, Drawing and Poster Making- and won prizes for their talents. There was also An interaction between the students and dignitaries on topics pertaining to Trees and Forests. It was indeed a great day for all these students to enjoy the beauty of nature at the lush and green Tree Park, situated very close to the sea. Kudos to APD and its volunteers namely Karl D’cunha, Crystal  Ria Pinto, Danush Desai, Anusha, Swadhik Masoor- and Ms Neha Shenoy- the Foundation Operation Manager who compered and handled the proceedings.

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23 Feb, 2018

Eco-Friendly Makar Sankranti 2018

In India nature is not separated from the human existence.  Nature is a creative force worthy of respect. ‘Makar Sankranti’ is one among the famous festivals of India. It is celebrated in several parts of India. Each year Makar Sankranti is celebrated on January 14th & is one among the significant festivals of India. It is believed that the six months of northern movement of the sun is followed by six months of southern movement. The festival reminds us to thank all who have contributed to our well-being. An exuberant celebration of peace and harmony in co-existence with nature is celebrated!  While we know Makar Sankranti is celebrated in different ways like flying kites, lighting bonfires, distributing sweets the highlight of today’s program reminds us to not use strings of kite coated with glass as there are tendencies of flying birds being killed, bonfires just adds to the prevailing pollution.

Makar Sankranti is the day when the glorious Sun-God begins its ascendancy and entry into the Northern Hemisphere. It is a harvest festival which is essentially celebrated in the Hindu communities. Makar Sankranti signifies that we should turn away from the darkness of delusion in which we live, and begin to enjoy a new life with bright light within us to shine brighter and brighter. Makar Sankranti promotes a feeling of sense of unity among peoples. People forget their past grievances and forgive one another.

 

Sankranti literally means “movement.” The planet earth is moving gently in such a beautiful manner – it is only changing seasons. Tomorrow, if it just speeds up, throttles up a little bit, everything will spin out of control. So movement is beautiful only to a certain point. Once it crosses that point, movement becomes torture. This torture here is urbanisation. Yes indeed urbanisation is needed but with collective and constructive measures.

 

Summary

Mother Earth provides for everyone’s needs. But sadly man has taken things too lightly and hindered the growth and the Earth’s very existence.

Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation in association with Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt. Ltd. & Shree Gujarathi English Medium School, Alake celebrated the festival that reaps happiness & joy in  Shree Gujarathi English Medium School, Alake on 13th January 2018 in the school premises.

Makar Sankranti is all about forgetting bitter and sad moments which have occurred in the past and welcoming the new phase of life which is full of purity, knowledge and wisdom. This festival is a traditional and oldest event that happens on an equinox that is the length of day and night remains equally long. After Makar Sankranti, the days grow longer and the nights shorter till the next equinox.

Sankranti is celebrated all over India but is known by different names. In Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is known as Uttarayan whereas in Tamil Nadu it is known as Pongal and in Karnataka it is known as Makara Sankranthi.

APD team along with Antony Waste Handling Cell (AWHCPL) & Shree Gujarathi High School Alake celebrated this day in an Eco-friendly way and showed their gratitude to mother earth who has blessed us all with so much in abundance by going to houses in the vicinity and giving the residents a message about protecting our environment which has always given us everything we need without expecting much from us.

The students put forth a meaningful programme in the form of a narration by Mother Earth requesting the audience “Jeeyo Aur Jeene Do”. While the Flora & Fauna encored “Live & Let Live” the students encored “Baduki Matthu Badukalu Bidi”.

3 dance forms representing three major states Tamil Nadu, Gujarath & Karnataka that celebrate Makar Sankranti with enthusiasm was shown by the students of 7th, 8th & 9th grades. Students also went for a walkathon and visited neighbouring houses calling out slogans, distributing sweets made out of Til & Jaggery and telling the residents to preserve Mother Earth and together live in Harmony.

The celebration highlighted to create awareness among the people that mother earth has been disturbed and harmed due to the pollution and by this we need to stop polluting the environment by various means. People greeted each other Happy Sankranti by saying “Tilgul Ghya Aani God God Bola”.

The program began with a prayer followed by welcome speech by Mrs. Sowmya Shettigar. Headmistress Mrs. Ashwini Shenoy highlighted the significance of celebration that distributing ‘Til Laddu’ on this auspicious day. It stands for ‘co-existence’ that Mother Earth, plant and animal kingdom and common man is asking us to live and let others live. Also the students of the school presented the Makara Sankranthi celebration in different states in the form of dance, which was choreographed by Neha Shenoy, GM-Operations – APD. Sri Kalpesh Khokanni, member of the education committee was the president of the program. Chief guest Mrs. Prathibha Kulai, chairman of finance committee MCC awakened students about environmental awareness. Mr. Rajendra Kumar, the Corporator of Dongerkeri ward, Mrs. Nagveni, Health Committee chairman, MCC, Mr. Jayaprakash, scientific officer KSPCB and Mr. Santhosh G. Nair, AWHCPL and Mr. Naveen D’souza IEC Project Head addressed the gathering. Mr. Prakash Kurup and Mrs. Asha, President of PTA and Mohammed Asif and Dhanush Desai of APD Foundation were present on the occasion. Miss. Ruhia Hussain rendered the vote of thanks.

 

The celebrations didn’t include usage of any of the pollutants which will harm our environment. Burning bonfires and not using glass coated thread to fly kites were condemned.

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World Wetlands Day 2018

“World Wetlands Day” is celebrated internationally each year on 2 February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971. World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997. Since then government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups have celebrated World Wetlands Day by undertaking actions to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits and promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands. These activities include seminars, nature walks, and festivals, announcement of new Ramsar sites, newspaper articles, radio interviews and wetland rehabilitation.

The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2018 is ‘Wetlands for a sustainable urban future’. Urban wetlands make cities liveable in many important ways. They reduce flooding, replenish drinking water, filter waste, provide urban green spaces, and are a source of livelihoods. Urban wetlands should be integrated into a city’s sustainable future planning and development.

‘World Wetlands Day’ celebration was observed by Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation in association with Sri Ramakrishna Degree College, Bunts Hostel Rd-Mangaluru, Antony Waste Management Cell Pvt Ltd and Mangaluru City Corporation at Sri Ramakrishna College-Mangaluru on Wednesday, 7 February 2018. The programme was inaugurated by lighting of the traditional lamp by chief guest-Mahesh Nayak-Executive Editor of Mangalore Today Website, along with other dignitaries on the dais namely APD Foundation’s founder Abdullah A. Rehman; Ms Nagaveni, chairperson, Standing Committee for Public Health, Education and Social Justice at Mangaluru City Corporation; Prakash Kurup- Senior Manager, Antony Waste Management Cell Ltd; Prof K Shrikar-Principal and Ms Prathima Shetty- Principal and Vice Principal respectively of Sri Ramakrishna Degree College; V G Bhat and Jennifer Alva- NSS Programme Officers at the college.

Chief guest Mahesh Nayak addressing the audience narrating his experience about wetlands in Mangaluru during his youth days said, ” Going back to my youth days, I remember there were many wetlands in Mangaluru, including many paddy fields, rivers and so on. As years went by, all these wetlands made way for City’s infrastructure, when apartments, multi-storeyed buildings, commercial complexes, Malls etc. The beauty and green nature of all these wetlands were lost. You hardly find any wetland in Mangaluru now, just for a few here and there. Wetlands are often referred to as “Earth’s kidneys” because they provide the same functions, absorbing wastes such as nitrogen and phosphorous. When excess amounts of these substances—nutrient loading—flow into waterways it can mean harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, and summer fish kills.”

“Recognizing the importance of wetlands, many communities are taking steps to protect, restore, and even create wetlands. For example, many stream restoration projects include constructing wetlands to absorb storm water runoff and absorb excess nutrients and other pollutants that flow in from a host of sources across the watershed (known collectively as non-point source pollutants). These constructed wetlands can provide key elements to urban storm water management because they help reduce the impacts of runoff after a rainstorm. Such runoff typically transports high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous and suspended solids from road surfaces into waterways. Just like how our kidneys are an essential aspect of the human body, wetlands are an important aspect of nature. Retaining additional nutrients and treating non-point source pollutants help give natural and constructed wetlands the affectionate nickname of “Earth’s Kidneys.” While we are observing ‘Wetlands day’, we should see that we save wetlands for good and eco-friendly environment” added Mahesh Nayak.

On 6th February 2018, a sketching competition and debate competition was held in the college premises which saw 50 odd participants. The theme for the sketching competition was Wetlands for sustainable urban development. While the students debated for topics like ban on plastic bags, wood consumption is on the rise and wetlands are much needed for this era, both the competition revealed the spirit of fostering the nature and bringing back the once lost greenery in and around Mangaluru.

Wetlands may be natural or artificial and the water within a wetland may be static or flowing, fresh, brackish or saline. There are even underground wetlands. Why are wetlands important? Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else. Wetlands provide an important range of environmental, social and economic services. Many wetlands are areas of great natural beauty. Wetlands also provide important benefits for industry. For example, they form nurseries for fish and other freshwater and marine life. Wetlands are the vital link between land and water. So it’s time that we consider this issue seriously, and try to protect our wetlands before they vanish.

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Ngo Will Monitor Air Quality In City During Diwali

Mangaluru: Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation, an NGO, in association with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), has set up four stations across the city to monitor air quality before and after Diwali festival.Under the ‘Shuddha Gaali’ project, the foundation has set up air quality assessment stations at four places. The assessment of air quality started on Monday. “We will assess the air quality on Tuesday and again on Thursday and Friday (after the festival),” said Abdullah A Rehman, the founder of APD Foundation.

“Of late, many people are celebrating Diwali without firecrackers considering the ill effects crackers cause on the environment and health of the people. To motivate people to continue this trend, the foundation has planned three projects for the people. Firstly an Eco-Friendly Diwali celebration along with KSPCB that was held at Bearys Public School on Monday,” he said.

The second project is to assess the air quality to show the impact of firecrackers on environment. “This project will be supported by St George’s Homeopathy. We will be testing the air quality levels in four residential locations for two days starting today (Monday). Later, on Thursday and Friday, air quality will be tested at the same locations,” he said adding that report of the air quality assessment will be submitted to the district administration, Mangaluru City Corporation and Department of forest and environment.

In addition, the APD Foundation will also conduct an advocacy drive, he said. “We will be submitting a memorandum to the district commissioner appealing him to take five problems (child labour, untoward incidents, air and noise pollution, effect on mental health and improper disposal) that are caused by fireworks into consideration and take appropriate steps.

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