Reliance Foundation Champions Nature-Based Solutions for Disaster Mitigation Ahead of World Environment Day 2023


Bhubaneswar: Ahead of World Environment Day 2023, Reliance Foundation Disaster Management programme has commenced a series of initiatives promoting Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for Disaster Risk Reduction in four disaster prone districts of Odisha.

As part of a two-week campaign beginning on June 1st, the Reliance Foundation organized workshops to raise awareness about tree planting and mangrove preservation. These workshops were attended by school students and community members, including PRI Members, local youth volunteers, Aapada Mitra, members of the Cyclone shelter management committee, and SHG leaders, across the districts of Jagatsinghpur and Balasore. The workshops, which were held in Sahadabedi in the Ersama block of Jagatsinghpur district and Kharasahapur and Kabirpur villages in the Bahanaga Block of Balasore district, saw participation from over 100 people. Similar events are scheduled across four disaster-prone districts: Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, and Ganjam.

Reliance Foundation has outlined plans to facilitate the plantation of mangrove hypocotyls (specifically Rhizophora, Kandelia Candel, and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza species), fruit-bearing plants, and forest trees in five high-risk villages within the four disaster-prone districts. Commencing on World Environment Day, June 5th, 2023, the foundation aims to undertake over 51,000 mangrove plantations. These plantations will take place in various villages, including Kharasaharpur in Bahanaga block of Balasore, Mohanpur in Basudevpur block of Bhadrak, Sahadabedi in Ersama block of Jagatsinghpur, and Patisonapur in Chikiti block of Ganjam. The plantation drive is scheduled to occur between June 5th and 15th, 2023. Moreover, there are also plans to carry out plantations of fruit-bearing plants and forest trees in the villages of Kabirpur and Kharasaharpur in Balasore district, as well as Muladiha in Bhadrak district of Odisha. The activity is being carried out in collaboration with members of local community, volunteers and organisations like Bhumiputra Seva Pratisthan and Rural Development Centre in Balasore, Dolagovinda Youth Club in Jagatsinghpur and Primary Fishermen Cooperative Society in Sunapur, Ganjam.

Similar activities have been planned by the Reliance Foundation’s Disaster Management programme in various locations throughout 20 disaster-prone districts in eight states, on the World Environment Day 2023.

It is worth mentioning that the present emphasis lies on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for Disaster Risk Reduction, aligning with the resilience aspect of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. In accordance with this, Reliance Foundation has organized a series of activities aimed at raising awareness and sensitizing students and community members. These activities, scheduled to take place on World Environment Day, include extensive plantation drives. The primary objectives of these drives are to enhance biodiversity, prevent soil erosion, and establish bio-shields to safeguard communities from severe winds in these highly susceptible areas.

According to the International Disaster Database (EMDAT), from 1970 to 2019, nearly 86% of disaster events and 98% of disaster-induced damages in India were attributed to hydro-meteorological extreme events. This trend is anticipated to continue and intensify due to factors such as climate change, ecosystem degradation, and inadequate land use planning. Increasing evidence suggests that ecosystem degradation, including the rapid depletion of natural wetlands, is a key contributing factor to escalating water-related risks. As a result, disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies that include Nature-based Solutions (NbS) can potentially contribute to the realization of societal development goals, ensure the well-being of individuals, and bolster ecosystem resilience.



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