Start Date

7-6-2013 5:25 PM

End Date

7-6-2013 6:35 PM

Description

The state Kerala is blessed with scenic beauty and appears evergreen throughout the year as it regularly receives South West and North West monsoons. The wetlands of Kerala provide myriad of biological functions lending ecological and economic sustainability to the region. However, due to immense biotic interferences, such habitats are under threat, and have shrunken in size considerably. The present work is an attempt to develop awareness in students, farmers and commoners on the degree of habitat destruction; and to implement strategies for eco-restoration of specific sites under study. Ten students of graduate stream and two from post graduate level were selected and trained to gather information from the local inhabitants using prepared questionnaire on the past and present conditions of river banks. The problems encountered are addressed at various levels.

An attempt has been made to develop awareness on the uncontrolled mining of sand from river. Equipping the villagers with techniques to wipe out the aquatic weeds such as Cabomba and Eichhornia is yet another step. Samples of river water and soil of river bank were collected from each site and their physico-chemical parameters were analyzed. A detailed study on the flora on the river bank was also performed for identifying suitable indigenous medicinal plants and avenue trees for eco-restoration. Seedling generation of such selected plants is now in progress. More than 3,000 seedlings of underutilized tree or medicinal species are to be distributed to the public for planting in homesteads and riverbanks.

The efficient participation of social workers, student naturalists, scientists and support of local governmental authorities were also ensured for the smooth running of the work. Such service learning programs are envisaged to create a better understanding among students on significant local issues such as stewardship of water so as to inspire future generations in the long term retention of natural communities.

Recommended Citation

Nayagam, J. R. (2013, June). Stewardship of water through ensuring sustainable development of river banks. Paper presented at the 4th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Service-Learning: Service-Learning as a Bridge from Local to Global: Connected world, Connected future, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China.

 
Jun 7th, 5:25 PM Jun 7th, 6:35 PM

Stewardship of water through ensuring sustainable development of river banks

The state Kerala is blessed with scenic beauty and appears evergreen throughout the year as it regularly receives South West and North West monsoons. The wetlands of Kerala provide myriad of biological functions lending ecological and economic sustainability to the region. However, due to immense biotic interferences, such habitats are under threat, and have shrunken in size considerably. The present work is an attempt to develop awareness in students, farmers and commoners on the degree of habitat destruction; and to implement strategies for eco-restoration of specific sites under study. Ten students of graduate stream and two from post graduate level were selected and trained to gather information from the local inhabitants using prepared questionnaire on the past and present conditions of river banks. The problems encountered are addressed at various levels.

An attempt has been made to develop awareness on the uncontrolled mining of sand from river. Equipping the villagers with techniques to wipe out the aquatic weeds such as Cabomba and Eichhornia is yet another step. Samples of river water and soil of river bank were collected from each site and their physico-chemical parameters were analyzed. A detailed study on the flora on the river bank was also performed for identifying suitable indigenous medicinal plants and avenue trees for eco-restoration. Seedling generation of such selected plants is now in progress. More than 3,000 seedlings of underutilized tree or medicinal species are to be distributed to the public for planting in homesteads and riverbanks.

The efficient participation of social workers, student naturalists, scientists and support of local governmental authorities were also ensured for the smooth running of the work. Such service learning programs are envisaged to create a better understanding among students on significant local issues such as stewardship of water so as to inspire future generations in the long term retention of natural communities.