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  • Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary
    every one of us to protect natural habitat and to rehabilitate land as well as species Plants as the main constituent members of natural ecosystems are inseparable from global environmental stability The absolute need for this is now entering areas of public discourse At the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary we work closely with the native plants of the Western Ghat mountains in India Through them we nurture land water habitat and

    Original URL path: http://www.gbsanctuary.org/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Our story | gbsanctuary.org
    by the modern industrial culture with its relentless and toxic methods on the natural world Despite people s movements and conservation actions and the laws made the fact is plants are being annihilated day by day by a slew of compounded colliding factors Three decades ago we recognized that the extinction of precious mountain plants was well on its way Three decades ago we recognized the vital connection between plants and the health of environments between vegetation and water and the integrity of the biosphere What began as a desperate search and rescue operation of specific plants individual plants over and above species became simultaneously a miraculous process of regeneration of community habitat spring water myriad microclimates and abundant wildlife in other words complexity and diversity at different scales The plants we rescued welcomed in and nurtured have grown forth and multiplied Others are coming in by themselves Barren areas are getting clothed The vibrant flush of evergreen rainforest rich with trees epiphytes shrubs climbers tubers and herbs is spreading out Robust plants conspire with each other to create varied and specialized niches for the more tender plants in time creating a marvelous web of rainforest life where once it had been completely destroyed All this on a very small piece of land sixty acres in size The point however is this rainforest beings don t come back easily whether you have a small piece of land or large What matters most is the quality and expanse of the nearest stretch of forest the condition of land you are working with what you do with it and how you do it Rainforest beings are fussy and incredibly shy We need to assure them of many things to make them feel secure We need to pledge ourselves to a life of cooperation and learning We need to listen closely to their preferences We need to learn to respond to them We need to live and work together with them be part of their efforts their strategies That they are here in such numbers and in such awesome diversity is living testimony of what is possible For the human members of this community there has been a rediscovery of our undeniable alliance with the rest of nature an alliance that has been lost broken and destroyed in most areas of the planet Now in addition to the Sanctuary there are other places involved in such efforts As part of our original mission on behalf of forests whose edges are under assault and lands that have been repeatedly trashed elsewhere the Sanctuary is participating in a web of protection and healing across the planet Scientists and environmentalists like to refer to this as restoration ecology We prefer the term gardening We are all gardeners in service to forests The reason why at the Sanctuary we use the term gardening is that it conveys a set of practices and techniques an array of sensibilities attunements and strategies that are very useful for assisting wild

    Original URL path: http://www.gbsanctuary.org/ourstory.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Writings | gbsanctuary.org
    other magazines 2012 The World Heritage tag comes with pitfalls Land is money Issue No 16 On the Threshold of Touch Journal of the Previous Alienation from the Wild River Talk from School in the Forest A School in the Forest The Rhythm of a Different Day Meeting life A Landscapes and Lifeskills Course Educating the Senses Evaluation and Planning for the Schools In the Forest Education Programme A Closer Look at Insects School in the Forest Educating the Young Tower Lessons Know Your Trees Better A review of Pradip Krishen s Trees of Delhi Snow Dykes and Scottish Pines Vignettes from the Diary of a Climate Change Tourist Mimic ing Nature at Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary Preserving Southern Indian Pteridophytes Not Signs of Prosperity 2013 Tiger Games Articles by others about the Sanctuary Every now and then various articles about the Sanctuary appear in the media Here are a few Please note that there are several factual errors in them If you are interested in writing about us or using our work in anyway to support your own please contact us or refer to the text provided in the main website The Hindu Missions in the Jungle Article The Gurukula

    Original URL path: http://www.gbsanctuary.org/writing.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Contact | gbsanctuary.org
    Ex situ Conservation Mukurthi National Park Support Contact Us Contact Tel 04935 260426 325302 Email writetogbs gmail com Please note we will only respond to polite enquiries Check out the Sanctuary s Facebook Page Doorway Our Story Features School in

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  • School in the Forest | gbsanctuary.org
    and how can we see better What is it to listen And how can we listen better What is it to relate to an idea of something and to the actual thing be it a person a plant an emotion a happening a process What comes first the idea or the experience What are the implications of either What causes closure shut down What facilitates opening It seems with children so much is just natural and effortless Learning is effortless language is effortless observation is effortless play and sleep and relating are all effortless We see this with kids who have grown up here how effortless is their participation in this complex dynamic rainforest world how at ease they are with plants and animals and trees and land and river and fish We see even with youngsters who are not familiar with this world here give them some time and they magically unfold into supple dynamic new beings shaped anew by the forest and the terrain and the non human lives they encounter Residential Programs Caring for the natural world and finding our place in it requires us to open our senses enter natural spaces and to learn from wild beings Our residential programmes for schoolchildren are aimed at addressing the increasing alienation of humans from each other and from non humans This is accomplished primarily through an experiential approach to natural history the cultivation of sensory skills in intensive immersion programs in which contact with the forest is core More than 1000 urban school children have spent a week to a month at GBS and have participated in these intense residential programmes Many of these have been documented and are available as resources for other educational initiatives The impact of these residential programmes have been at various levels for example sensitizing young people to the urgency of forest protection profoundly affecting their worldviews and inspiring some of them to take up conservation as a vocation Landscapes Lifeskills Course The aim of this five month course is to help young people discover their connection with the living world while acquiring the knowledge and skills to understand nature and act sensibly with it It is built on a series of interlocking units about the processes organisms and influences within a landscape including the relationships between people and their environments The course is facilitated by the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary and Himal Prakriti Munsiari Himalaya In their different places climates and cultures both parties central concern is the complex web of connections between individuals their communities and their landscapes Learning is primarily experiential classes are conducted in the field via a series of questions and exercises The course is intended for young persons interested in the natural world It requires an open spirit a capacity for self inquiry a willingness to be challenged physically psychologically and intellectually an ability to cooperate with a diverse group of people the stamina to live for long periods in simple conditions and fluency in English The L

    Original URL path: http://www.gbsanctuary.org/schoolintheforest.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Green Phoenix | gbsanctuary.org
    conservation presents alternatives in this context that we must now deliberate over and consciously implement This depends on what we value and what we wish our landscapes to be Do we choose wattle over grassland Coffee over forest When 90 of the Western Ghats is degraded or under exotic industrial plantation what will areas recover to when left alone What is the ideal that we can work towards As an integral part of a larger comprehensive strategy ecosystem gardening is one way to support species and habitats The possibility Every year we get many requests mostly from the region but also from around India and elsewhere for advice on land care ecological restoration ecological gardening wildlife monitoring and so on We get requests from individuals in cities and rural areas planters panchayats forest officials schools resorts corporates colleges NGOs nature clubs name it We tend to just talk to each of these people in detail once we get a sense that their intentions are serious but this is tricky if we cannot picture their land How do we do justice to these interests and how do we work together More important how can we be effective What do we need to know to help a newcomer to restoration Thus was born the idea of an online questionnaire to initiate a mutually beneficial engagement If you are interested in habitat restoration on a specific piece of land in the Western Ghats the Eastern Ghats or Central and Western India please fill this form below It will take some time for us to respond but we will get back to you Show Form for Land Care Hide Form for Land Care Loading If you d like to be a member of green phoenix and or have your work represented on this website please fill out the form below Show Green phoenix Membership form Hide Green phoenix Membership form Loading Here are some guidelines to help you decide if you want to be a member Long term vision There are three principles GP members would have to consider maximising biodiversity recovering ecosystem processes inclusion of human needs in such a way that the natural world benefits A long term strategy would include the following Protection of standing forest natural habitat Natural forest recovery in degraded areas Gardening farming in nature s image permaculture perennial polycultures agroforestry Pledging of yourself to the land in posterity for the above Basic choices people need to make from mono to poly culture from annual to perennial from chemical to organic from exotic to native from pure extraction to supporting ecosystem recovery In time we hope the Green Phoenix page could feature other efforts underway In time we will host a map to show the corridor of greening or the stepping stones of restoration to use another metaphor For example Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh has been steadily involved in land restoration for several decades Centre for Learning a school outside Bangalore has done a great combination

    Original URL path: http://www.gbsanctuary.org/thegreenphoenix.html (2016-02-14)
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  • The Western Ghats | gbsanctuary.org
    escaped development Mukurti Eravikulam and Kudremukh retain examples of this unique ecosystem Deciduous forests still carpet many of the slopes on the eastern rain shadow of the Ghats Protected areas in this zone such as Nagarhole and Mudumalai harbour an astounding variety of wildlife wealth from small creatures to elephants and tigers From Karnataka northwards the Ghats meet the expansive Deccan Plateau The hills are lower in elevation compared to the rugged mountains of the south Composed of ancient basaltic lava flows they fall in steep dramatic ghats steps to the sea along the Konkan coast north of Goa Excerpt from Mukurti an Unforeseen Wilderness A Short Lesson on Orogeny The rich swards of Mukurti with their island forests roll away in the pearly mists to drop suddenly without any warning over vertiginous cliffs to the plains and plateaux of Kerala To the north and west lies Wayanad then Nilambur to the south west and then Silent Valley and Attapadi to the south This is a stunning country where overtowering edges meet quiet modulations On a clear day we can see almost all of Mukurti in a glance a seemingly vast and uninhabited land In a single sweep of your head you might gaze upon crest lines escarpments deep drops bumps and bosses as well as cloven and sheer faces that run for miles upon miles There are horizontal and vertical planes intersecting dramatically at the edge of the Park showing us in plain relief that we stand on the edge of Horst or block mountains produced by the processes of faulting and subsidence or upliftment along fracture lines The Nilgiris stand at 2500 m On the other side of the Palghat Gap the Annamalai High Range Palni massif equals this height Steep and high as they are they are nevertheless fairly level at the top They are geologically identical to the Central Mountains of Sri Lanka and are part of the mountain range that runs down the western edge of the peninsula the Sahyadris or the Western Ghats The Ghats are part and parcel of that great mass of solid rock that is the Deccan This means that their cores are very old Metamorphic schists and gneiss dating back to the Archaean some 2500 million years old form the bones of the giant s body Within the very ancient masses or even overlying them are more recent formations younger intrusions of granitic rocks or overflows of basalt up in the Traps at Mahabaleshwar Maharashtra Young or old the Deccan is a big slab of hard impervious rock of continental proportions and not a mile of it formed from the gradual accumulative processes of sedimentation Long long ago perhaps some 100 million years ago at least India was part of Gondwanaland the super continent that included South America Africa Australia Antarctica and Madagascar Imagine this huddle of continents clustered together in the lap of the primeval ocean bearing our ancestral floras and faunas Now picture this cluster breaking up and

    Original URL path: http://www.gbsanctuary.org/thewesternghats.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Rainforest Gardening | gbsanctuary.org
    course most of these wild and feral beings may at some point enter into conflict with the gardener who needs to manage and shape and control this outdoor place of plants for human utility or aesthetic purposes A simple rule to remember is this if a garden replaces concrete it is ecologically speaking a step in the right direction However if a garden replaces a forest then it is ecologically speaking a step in the wrong direction That which is wrong ecologically could be said to be wrong ethically and practically as there can be no greater basis for life than an ecological one the measure being a healthier community a healthier landbase a healthier ecosystem and a healthier planet If gardens replace forests and prairies and wetlands then the earth can be considered to be impoverished destroyed If gardens replace manmade deserts toxic wastelands and concrete then the earth can be considered to be enriched more healthy In the last 30 years or so though the very origin of this is older a peculiar revolution has been happening amongst some gardeners and in some gardens in different parts of the world which turns the whole purpose of gardening by 180 degrees back to the wild The very same tools accompanied by an entirely different set of sensibilities are now indispensable to achieving something very different Gardeners who look towards the wild for their metaphors for their guidance and their goals are in fact indispensable to the global cause of ecological restoration The reason why at the Sanctuary we use the term gardening is that it conveys a set of practices and techniques an array of sensibilities and attunements and strategies that can be very useful for assisting wild nature for allying with living beings to mitigate the disastrous effects of depletion and destruction for healing the earth from holocaust Stop a moment here To us at GBS and all our friends similarly concerned there is no doubt that ecological holocaust is upon us Ecosystems are collapsed or collapsing the world over Species are dying at unprecedented rates from the global scale impact of industrial civilization The effects of this devastation will be long lasting no one knows how long The death of species and the death of ecosystems go hand in hand There can be no community without the members of the community The death of ecosystems goes hand in hand with the dangerous disruption of global hydrospheric atmospheric and biospheric processes Some scientists extend this effect to tectonic and lithospheric processes as well Deforestation leads to global warming leads to ice melt leads to changes in water pressure weight and movement leads to increased friction between underlying continental plates leads to increased earthquakes of greater magnitude Healing trashed ecosystems is the work of ecosystem gardeners Such gardeners who manifest in their green fingers several disciplines ranging from botany to plant physiology horticulture soil science and ecology know a lot about plants and a great deal about how they grow They know a lot about the preferences of individual plants of the various plant life forms climbers creepers trees tubers epiphytes annual and perennial herbs They also know how these different plants together create a place aboveground and below ground how they together make things happen that were not possible before They recognize that plants create environments In scientific terms they know a great deal about the structural and functional components of an ecosystem and not only that they are able to grow them in ways that resemble the natural ecosystem that encourage ecosystemic processes back to the place In fact increasingly more and more gardeners and gardens though still way short of the numbers needed are recognizing the dire need for this and how gardening can actually be re invented and re deployed to turn wastelands and destroyed areas into environments rich with species and to enhance and repair or restore broken and trashed environments in ways that bring back whole system processes as well as the many beings together which are inseparable from these processes For instance water flow is mediated by plants soil organic matter requires bacteria and roots of plants and all kinds of beetles and worms and fungi Coolness is brought about by the layers of leaves which then help condensation of moisture from the air that moves through Such gardening is called conservation gardening and as it is attentive to native species natural processes and native habitats it can also be called wild gardening or habitat or ecosystem gardening If it is in the rainforest then it is called rainforest gardening If in the desert it is desert gardening If in the prairies prairie gardening All this is far from being a new discovery In some parts of the world ancient gardens still exist which are almost indistinguishable from the surrounding forest It is well known that Amazonian Indians planted and tended and harvested all through the Amazon in ways that encouraged the extraordinarily high species diversity and natural forest structure Likewise Kerala and Sri Lanka s traditional home gardens amazingly diverse and they were good for the earth good for forests good for streams and fish and birds and frogs and good for humans and moreover beautiful to the eye This kind of gardening is closer to our work with the native plant species of the forests of the Western Ghats the main difference being we are primarily concerned with the most endangered plants which are non edible non medicinal non utilitarian as in resin pulp timber fibre which are inconspicuous non ornamental species and therefore all uneconomic species In fact we almost completely focus on the species ignored till now by modern societies to our collective peril for it is these species in their diversity and entirety that make up the forest in its diversity and entirety Conventional forestry does not embrace this abundance of diversity Lack of diversity in plant species and underrepresentation of lifeforms that comprise a habitat climbers

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