Mahabali Forest Protection Committee

This committee was initiated by the NGO Gram Swaraj and works with 300 or so villages that are close to the forest. The purpose is to mobilize villagers to take care of the forest that they are traditionally using. The NGO organizes meetings among clusters of villages to explain how to protect the forest against fire as well as how to protect the wildlife. There are volunteers from these villages who keep Gram Swaraj ¬†updated on the work being done as well as reach out to them when they need help. Every year Gram Swaraj increases the number of villages it works with and the ultimate goal is to work with all villages around Similipal Reserve. The committee is made up of 48 members, evenly divided by 24 males and 24 females. Every individual is a tribal representative, mostly from the Mankaria community. Other tribes represented include Santal and Munda. The main purpose and responsibility of the Mahabali Forest Protection Committee is to protect the forest and one of the significant steps being taken is to fully stop alcohol use. By stopping alcohol consumption they hope to reduce the number of people going into the forest to cut down trees…
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Biodiversity

Similipal Biosphere Reserve was named after the Simili plant. It was established in 1994 as part of the MAB (Man and Biosphere) program with UNESCO, the objective being to bring people and their livelihoods along with the forest and its wildlife under a cohesive eco-development initiative. That way both the socio-economic development of the people is enriched and there is less pressure on the forests. It is within the Mayurbhanj district of the state of Orissa and is 2750 square kilometers. Broken up, 2091 sq. km. of is forest reserve while 659 sq. km. is protected. It is a critical National Park that supports numerable wildlife and biodiversity, is home to several different indigenous communities, and is a critical watershed. In fact, Similipal provides water to 20 million people both in Orissa and other surrounding states. As a biosphere reserve this place is dedicated to both the landscaped and the biodiversity within, as well as accounts for developmental activities that work alongside the local people to resolve conservation issues. A few of the significant features of Similipal are that it has several water sources, 2 of which (Barehipani and Joranda) are permanent waterfalls; it receives relatively high precipitation, and resembles…
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