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