Reforestation Projects in India: Project Nelda in Pune

Reforestation Guide - Process, Importance, Management

At COP26, India pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by around 1 billion tonnes by 2030. However, it did not join the pledge to protect forests.

During the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow in 2021, 141 leaders of the world promised to stop and reverse deforestation by the time of 2030. While India has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions, it did not sign the declaration on land use and forests.

Protection of the country’s forests would aid in the collaborative effort to reduce carbon emissions as trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Natural climate-based solutions help in the absorption of carbon emissions while keeping the rising global temperatures under control. Presently, India is known to have a total forest cover of 713,789 square km (21.71 percent of the total geographical area). While reforestation efforts are present, they are usually complex and slow.

Understanding the State of Forests in India

Vast stretches of green cover and forests in India have, over several past years, given way to concrete jungles due to increasing urbanization in the country. The compelling requirement to support the large population of the nation due to increase in migration has resulted in increased demand for land. Eventually, this leads to further deforestation.

In 2010, it is estimated that the country had around 31.3 Mha of natural forest cover -spreading across 11 percent of the total land area. By the time of 2020, the country lost around 132Kha of total natural forest cover -equivalent to Carbon Dioxide emissions of around 67.3 Mt.

With the aim to minimize higher pollution levels and a steep rise in carbon emissions, the Government of India has been pursuing rapid reforestation projects through lucrative schemes like the National Afforestation Programme, the National Mission on Green India, Nelda Tree Plantation Drives in Pune, and compensatory afforestation across different parts of the nation.

In the Union Budget of 2020-2021, the total allocation for the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, had experienced an increase to reach INR 31 billion. A significant portion of the budget is expected to be channelized towards integrated development of the entire forest ecology. Moreover, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP, India had committed to restore around 130Mha (Million Hectares) of deforested and degraded land by the time of 2030.

In addition to policymakers, private organizations like Nelda and others are also joining hands to revive the nation’s lost green cover -offering ample hope.

Nelda Reforestation Project in Pune

Nelda Tree Plantation NGO

Nelda Foundation, a Pune-based NGO, aims at taking forward the reforestation project of the country through its massive tree plantation drive across Pune and other surrounding areas. For the past several years, Nelda Foundation in Pune has been planting trees, cleaning, and removing weeds around the Hanuman Tekdi area in Shivajinagar. The NGO was founded by Vedarth Deshpande -a nature enthusiast, who strives to join the reforestation project in Pune and throughout the nation.

The primary objective of the small-scale environmental venture is to grow over a billion trees by the time of 2040 in Pune and surrounding areas. Let us explore more details about Nelda Foundation and its commitment to ensure the reforestation project in India.

Nelda Foundation – The Pioneering Tree Plantation NGO in India

In Irish language, the term ‘Nelda’ implies Champion. It also denotes an individual who lives in the vicinity of alder trees. At Nelda Foundation, there is a deeper understanding that the environment that we live in is the responsibility of every human being. As our older communities have contributed significantly to our generation, it is high time that the current generation returns the favor while keeping in mind the future generations as well.

Nelda Foundation and its Reforestation Project was launched in 2016. The reforestation project aims at helping local people plant and grow more than a billion trees by the time of 2040. For such a massive reforestation programme, it is not possible for a single organization to achieve the results. Therefore, the foundation joins hands with local people of Pune and the entire nation to support the cause and bring about an affirmative change.

Running the Reforestation Project for almost four years until now, the foundation continues running multiple plantation drives in & around Pune. The NGO also helps various other NGOs and foundations in making the city and the entire nation greener. Unlike popular belief, tree plantation is not a complicated process. It only requires guidance from a knowledgeable and expert team. With its army of tree plantation volunteers and several years of experience, the foundation aims at working together towards making the plantation drive in Pune and surrounding areas successful.

Through Nelda Foundation Tree Plantation Drive, it is possible to either donate saplings to the NGO. These saplings can be planted around in Pune. On the other hand, it is possible to join the foundation and its team to run the tree plantation drive. Nelda Foundation also extends its tree plantation drives and services across Maharashtra wherein the NGO aims at helping companies and organizations conduct tree plantation programmes as well. To get started with the NGO through the tree plantation drive of Nelda Foundation, nature-lovers can reach out on +919823348087.

Bringing About a Revolution in the Reforestation Projects

Shubham Gule is the Leader of Operations at Nelda Foundation. He explains that the NGO typically features a core team of around 21 members. Moreover, the entire non-profit boasts an impressive army of more than 5,000 volunteers in the reforestation drive. Most of the volunteers are students – along with some local residents and corporates in the area.

Nelda Tree Plantation NGO

While plantations of tree saplings mostly take place during the monsoon season, the volunteers and members of the NGO also partake in cleaning the area, painting tee barks with Chuna & Geru, and manually removing weeds throughout the year. It is possible a number of Alder trees are all around the Tekdi area in Pune. In addition to maintaining and protecting the existing trees in the area, the team also waters the saplings to protect them. The team also plants some native species to improve the green cover all around.

The process of painting the tree barks and trunks with Chuna and Geru helps in serving as a barrier for common plant infections and termite infestation. The volunteers and team members also keep removing weeds from the surrounding area to ensure that they do not slow down the overall growth of the main plants and trees. The team removes weeds manually or with machines in some cases. It is because burning them will further cause more damage while not allowing the young plants and trees to breathe.

Additional Services to Promote the Local Ecosystem

To extend its range of services through the Reforestation Project, the NGO has also made efforts towards placing dustbins on the path going uphill. It is quite common for people to litter as they go running or jogging uphill. Therefore, the dustbins have been placed. According to Ghule, regular cleanliness and tree plantation drives in the area have benefitted the small-scale ecosystem of the Tekdi area significantly. On an occasional basis, it is common to experience the rare sighting of a Kingfisher or the Bharadwaj Bird (also known as Crow Pheasant) on the branches of the trees.

Within the Tekdi ecosystem, there is the co-existence of several chakras or lifecycles. The eco-activity initiatives by the NGO make sure that the organization is successful in protecting the green pockets of the region and the entire city.

Online Tree Plantation Drive by Nelda Foundation

Are you a nature enthusiast? Do you wish to participate in the dedicated tree plantation drive by Nelda Foundation? Do you not belong to Pune? Do not worry! Nelda Foundation NGO has got you covered in your pursuit to make the country greener, cleaner, and healthier throughout.

Towards ensuring a simpler way for contributing to greener efforts, Nelda Foundation has come up with the revolutionary Online Tree Plantation drive. Through its official website, Nelda Foundation offers access to online tree plantation services that allow individuals from any corner of the country to sponsor saplings. In turn, these saplings will be planted on their behalf by the organization.

You can think of planting a sapling in memory of someone or just joining the Reforestation Project. Nelda can help you achieve satisfaction towards promoting a greener and safe planet. The NGO goes ahead with planting even a single tree on your behalf. At the same time, for large-scale corporates, the organization is capable of organizing massive tree plantation drives through its online tree plantation services.


Given the rising trend of global warming and climate change all around, it is high time that we pay attention to the importance of massive reforestation projects throughout the country. You can ensure the same by providing support to a no-profit Tree Plantation Drive by organizations like Nelda Foundation. Make way for a greener, cleaner, and safe planet!

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