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Featured Sustainable Story : Sustainable Advancements – Restoring & Saving our resources

This Week we Present the Sustainability Story of an Organization working on Restoring & saving our Natural Resources by following Sustainable Practices.

Sustainable Advancements broadly aims to promote the 5Ps of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the Global Goals, viz. people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships.

This is done through a two-pronged approach – Advocacy and Implementation that aids in bridging the gap between ideas and actions, communities and businesses, India and rest of the world, thus bringing about holistic development.

“Earth Restore’’ an initiative of Sustainable Advancements (OPC) Private Limited has taken up the challenge to create an urban forest near Kolkata, West Bengal, India in approximately 1.4 acres of land surrounded by 22 housing co-operatives/ houses/ utility centers with about 10 of them having 32 families living in each of the co-operatives. Under the Green Verge project with the local government New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA), Earth Restore is planting mainly bamboos in this stretch as bamboos have a high growth potential and sequester large amounts of carbon.  However, assorted plantations will also be undertaken in the lines of Miyawaki forest to attract bio-diversity.

In Pic: Dr. Nayan Mitra, Founder Director, Sustainable Advancements with Mr. & Mrs. Debashis Sen, Chairman of NKDA and the Chief Sustainability Architect of New Town, Kolkata

A multi-stakeholder approach has been adopted with the local government, corporates, civil societies, academic institutions, individuals, and communities coming together to drive positive change. Challenges are huge, but baby steps have yielded resulted in behavioral buy-ins over a period of time.

In Pic: Growing the Urban Forest by Sustainable Advancements with young bamboo clumps, flanked by houses on both sides

This comes at a time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, 2021 has led the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres to flag the issue of climate change as ‘a code red for humanity,’ where he further points out that “the alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk.”

Climate change is globally affecting people, ecosystems, and livelihoods; recent trends in emissions and the level of international ambition indicated by nationally determined contributions, within the Paris Agreement, deviate from a track consistent with limiting warming to well below 2°C; increased and urgent mitigation ambition in the coming years, leading to a sharp decline in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 is a necessity; global warming is expected to surpass 1.5°C in the following decades, leading to irreversible loss of the most fragile ecosystems, and crisis after crisis for the most vulnerable people and societies.

To add to this, rapid growth in urbanization have yielded in mass housing projects that have very steadily replaced and engulfed green open spaces and urban green verges. Moreover, traffic congestion, population growth, exponential human and industrial activity are resulting in an urban heat island effect that is preventing the heat to escape to the atmosphere, resulting in increasing the temperature in urban spaces up to 3-4°C higher than in the surrounding countryside. The World Health Organization (WHO) points out that between 10 and 15 square metres of green space per inhabitant are required to ensure a healthy urban ecosystem.

Thus, urban forests will play an important role in not only impacting climate action but also improving the air quality and restoring biodiversity loss; ensuring proper land usage, planting native species, and beautification. Once planted, an urban forest has the potential to become maintenance-free after the first three years. Earth Restore, plans to plant more trees, under its Green Verges portfolio, in the future and bring about collective change in mindset and action towards the climate.

Article by : Dr. Nayan Mitra


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