Sustainability

Partnership with Auroville Forest :

The indigenous forest of the Auroville bioregion is called Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF). It provides a rare biological richness due to its high species abundance.  In 1968 when the township was founded it was a barren land. A variety of restoration methods have been applied since then, like soil conservation, water re bunding, and check dam building for rainwater catchment and the planting of pioneer and indigenous species. The restoration of the TDEF in Auroville now covers some 2000 acres. Including all the herbaceous species that grow in ecological niches within this forest type, the number of species approaches 1000. It is recorded that out of this more than 600 species are used for mankind, either medicinally, culturally or in religious rituals.

The Forest group has planted more than 3 million trees making Auroville the largest living repository of these species in the bio-region. As the forests have grown and native flora have returned, fauna has already returned to the area. The number of bird species has increased from approximately 30 to over 90.  Species of butterflies, moths, and other insects have taken advantage of the increased diversity of plant food sources, and their diversity has increased also.  Many species of reptile are present, including monitor lizards, chameleons, starbacked turtles, and the star tortoises.  Up to 19 species of snake are now considered common, including the indian spectacled cobra and Russell’s viper.  Mammals whose populations have increased include the mongoose, black-naped hare, and civet cat.

BBG Chennai supports the work of the Auroville Bio Region in Nadikuppam & Pichandikullam forests and has donated funds to create a BBG Forest.

Joss Brooks

Joss grew up in the Australian state of Tasmania, a place full of wild natural beauty and came to Auroville in 1970 after living in Europe and Africa. He joined the early pioneering efforts in land restoration at Auroville and founded the Pitchandikulam community in 1973 which is now a vibrant 60 acre forest with 800 species of plants in the grasslands, a nursery and an ethno-medicinal forest. In 2002, he embarked on environmental education to the villages by setting up Nadukuppam Environment Education Center in a village near Auroville. He also founded, Pitchandikulam Forest Consultants, a business unit to provide environmental restoration services and is currently directing the restoration bio-diversity at Adyar Ponga in Chennai.

He can be contacted at 9943362246 / joss@auroville.org.in