Auroville Botanical Gardens Green Schools Project | Auroras Eye Films

Native species planting: Drypetes porteri and Ecosia

The potential for tree plantation, and the benefits arising from that, is enormous if done sensitively; our vision is to recreate small pockets of native forest across the plains of Tamil Nadu, which in the long term will create seed sources for natural vectors, such as birds and bats, to transport to adjacent lands. This is something that we are currently building support for at governmental levels within the state, and is limited only by our imagination, the seedlings in our nurseries, and by the financial support we can garner.

Saving the Drypetes Porteri

One such opportunity has been through Drypetes porteri (Putranjivaceae), an Endangered tree species of Tamil Nadu that the Auroville Botanical Gardens is working to protect through a conservation programme funded by Ecosia. A noteworthy aspect of this effort is that, to secure the future of this species, Drypetes porteri is planted with a mix of 10 allied native evergreen tree species in a number of sites across the restored and protected Tropical Dry Evergreen Forests (TDEF) of Auroville. To this end, our work has included biodiversity surveys, seed missions, nursery propagation of seedlings over 18 months at the Gardens, in situ and ex situ plantings, 3 years’ funded aftercare to ensure plant survival, and educational outreach programs to raise awareness about the importance of nature conservation.