Save & Store the Seeds of Forest Plants: Spread/Sow at Proper Time and Place !
The plants reproduce naturally with their seeds dispersed naturally using the a-biotic & biotic agencies, the unwitting agents. The deliberate seed dispersal by mankind is limited to edible grains and vegetables through cultivation. The importance of the tail of the seed dispersal curve is being increasingly recognized in the context of spread and biodiversity of the plant populations. In this context it is important to bring into play deliberate seed dispersal by humans to increase the green cover. Loss of 2.3 million square kilometers of forest from 2000 to 2012 is considerable.
The seeds of diverse wild plants inedible for humans may be collected from wild round the year with the help of local un/underemployed population and stored with them till the proper germination period sets in and with the help of same people be distributed/spread/sowed onto/into soil at appropriate non agriculture use places as decided by the local governments and the forestry experts. The unemployed may be paid for their collection & decentralized safe keep of the seeds based on the quality & quantity of seeds at the time of planned seed dispersal.
The national, state & local government authorities should initiate and sustain this activity in a coordinated manner so that fighting the unemployment and greening the landscape may go together.
What actions do you propose?
Green cover growth loss has been slowed but not reversed. Efforts to do so should involve major sections of relevant local population. The need to sustainably involve local population in halting & reversing the green cover loss is simply obvious. The anticipated forest cover loss @ 0.08% annually needs to be further slowed & reversed. Following account outlines briefly the process for increasing the green cover by sustainably involving the local population.
1- Forestry experts, botanists & experts specializing in Medicinal Plants to study & recommend the plants the seeds of which are to be collected round the year and help develop training modules for training the local population for collection & storage of specified seeds.
2- Local governments to identify with the help of forestry & revenue departments the forest sites for seed collection and the adjoining local population to be most usefully involved as well as the sites where these seeds could be most efficiently dispersed for tree growth to occur & the time frame for the seed dispersal so as to maximize the seed germination and seedling sustenance, depending on the local conditions
3- Local governments & their forest departments to organize block/village group training for the target unemployed population to be involved in seed collection, storage & dispersal.
4- Satellite monitoring of the green cover development by state & central agencies.
5- After 5 to 6 years the areas showing increase in green cover may be given incentives for achievements and further sustenance in the form of enhanced grants for other development works. The areas showing decreased rate of forest loss and reversal of loss may be continually rewarded but those unable to achieve must not be penalized.
6- The inclusion of medicinal plant experts is necessary. In India the Ayurved physicians with postgraduate degree in medicinal plant science & ten years’ teaching experience may be prefered.
7- Coordination committee for this program should include at least in India the forest as well as revenue departments.
8- Edible Fruit seeds wouldn’t be properly collected in this manner as fruits are consumed in a scattered manner and seeds dumped in the dump yards. For collection & use of fruit seeds ‘Swami Vivekananda Fruit Trees Expansion Mission’ may be adopted (https://www.climatecolab.org/contests/2015/land-use-agriculture-forestry-livestock/c/proposal/1310401 ) with all its benefits.
Who will take these actions?
National & State Governments, Counties, Cities under whose jurisdiction fall the forests; forests managements for private forests may also be involved.
Where will these actions be taken?
These actions should be taken globally, everywhere the forest is & human settlements in & around.
The species of plants being local the worries about invasive foreign species would be unwarranted.
Scale is important; greater the number of seeds being spread over greater the land area, greater would be benefits. Greater the number of people participating, greater would be benefits. Mass scale implementation would give massive benefits.
"wide portfolio of reduction measures would be needed to achieve such emission pathways in a cost-effective way" http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/ch3s3-3-5-1.html
What are other key benefits?
1) Use of those seeds which may in their natural settings encounter greater survival issues because of competition.
2) Emergence of hardier species spread over a greater area
3) Greater earning opportunities for populations adjoining the forests would be in harmony with reforestation goal.
4) Wider spread & availability of many useful medicinal plants which otherwise are often unavailable.
What are the proposal’s costs?
Initial policy planning meetings at government level wouldn’t be costly.
The seeds of forest trees wouldn’t require any money, just permissions which would follow the adoption of program by governments. The collection, storage and spreading arrangements and transportation costs would depend on local wages, local seasonal variations in wages and the collection, storage & dispersal distances. These would vary in different countries & regions within countries. Hence exact estimates are rather difficult at this stage.
The storage and safe keeping of the seeds if assigned to local population on a payment &/or incentive basis which may be given on the basis of quality & quantity of seeds presented at the time of/just before commencement of seed spreading may obviate creation of separate infrastructure for this purpose. Utilization of transportation vehicles of the forest & revenue departments would obviate the need for a separate infrastructure for transportation.
Short term- After the in principle acceptance of the program concept the Governments may need at most one year to decide the areas for both the seed collection & dispersal, the plant species of which the seeds are to be collected and local populations to be involved and develop training modules for the seed gathering population and decide best ways to temporarily reorganize their manpower & transportation resources and prepare for the launch of this ongoing program.
Medium Term- The site selection and rotation may be monitored with the help of satellite imagery, along with the growth of the green cover.
Long term- Well developed trees may be utilized in a sustainable manner for the benefit of people.
Link is below