and Conservation of the Agasthyamalai region, Western Ghats, India.
ATREE’s Agasthyamalai Community–based Conservation Centre has been working towards a ‘Plastic-free Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve’ during the annual Aadi amavasai festival since 2006. ATREE’s efforts have resulted in plastic ban in the entire KMTR, but still awareness among local people about sustainable use of forests and polluting Tamiraparani river is abysmal. Hence, this year ATREE adopted ‘be a better ancestor’, as the campaign slogan with the main theme being saving the Tamiraparani river for future generations. We conducted meeting with the district administration, media, temple authorities, local NGOs and forest officials.
After our meeting with the collector in 2007, he issued a press release instituting a ban on plastic usage inside the forest. This year the collector urged people to reduce prolonged camping in. Awareness programmes were conducted at Alangulam town from where a large number of people visit the temple. A cycle rally was conducted and students from Jayaraj Annapackiam Nadar College participated in the event and Mr. Venkatesh, Deputy Director of KMTR flagged off this rally. This rally covered 20 km and Lions club of Alangulam and Merit soap sponsored food and T-shirts for the students. ATREE’s ‘Nature Talkies’ children troop performed cultural programmes which was recorded and broadcast by Jeniffer TV channel during prime time. All our programmes focused on reducing prolonged camping in forests. We were supported by the government departments and public to make the pilgrimage greener and sustain it for the next generation.