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A forest born from the ashes

DNMUM427273 | 12/2/2018 | Author : Pooja Salvi | WC :370

Pooja Salvi takes you to the Shillim Valley in the Sahyadri mountain range, which was afforested over a period of two decades

Shillim Valley was under constant threat from unsustainable slash-and-burn agricultural practice when duo Gavin and Karen De Souza initiated preservation of the area. Stemming from a deep connection to nature, the duo executed an afforestation project that, and in two decades time, turned the barren land into an eco-spot.
“Slash-and-burn is a farming practice evolved from lack of economic alternatives the sheer need to survive,” explains Gavin. “Each year, we witnessed the annual burning of virtually every forested hillside. These ill agricultural practices degraded the natural fertility and minerals of the land leaving it mostly high and dry with hardly any greenery around,” he recalls.
But they realised that co
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