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Initiative to conserve sacred groves

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    4th Jun, 2021


In a bid to conserve the green patches of land, the sacred groves in Puducherry, a "non-profit" organisation, Indigenous Biodiversity Foundation (IBF), has come up with an eco-restoration initiative, Uyir Moochu’initiative.

About the sacred groves protection initiative

  • They are also known as ‘Kovil Kaadugal’ locally.
    • There are 163 sacred groves on the Marakkanam-Puducherry-Cuddalore stretch.
  • Sacred groves were looked after and maintained by the local communities residing there, who made use of the age-old traditions and knowledge to conserve them.
    • They are now fast deteriorating due to rapid urbanisation and land scarcity.
  • The groves were such diverse and host species of some of the last remaining repositories of critically endangered TDEF.
  • 'Protected' by Ayyanar: Several sacred groves on the Puducherry-Cuddalore stretch housed a few deities especially Ayyanar revered by the local communities.
    • The groves remained untouched due to religious beliefs and had several plant and animal species.
    • But they have now been razed and replaced with concrete structures.
  • Under the initiative the main objective is to strengthen the bond that the local communities shared with the sacred groves.
    • By educating the locals on the importance of these groves
    • to ensure their involvement in the conservation plan to protect the remaining patches