Afforestt creates first urban jungle in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, May 4 (IANS) Bangalore-based company Afforestt, that works to revive forests, Saturday took the initiative to grow an “urban jungle” in the campus of an educational institution here.

“We work towards creating maintenance free, self-sustainable and greenery that will bring back our rich bio-diversity,” said Shubhendu Sharma, founder and director of Afforestt.

The project was launched at the Asian School of Business (ASB) in Thiruvananthapuram’s suburbs. ASB is the country’s first academic campus to be a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified green building.

“We have set aside a 5,000 square feet of land at the ASB and Trivandrum International School campus to create a multi-layered green forest. This is also our support for social entrepreneurship,” said G. Vijayaraghavan, member secretary ASB.

Afforestt has created 17 forests in five cities across the country. ASB is its maiden venture in Kerala.

“Our survey has found laterite soil beneath the top soil at ASB. We have identified native species such as jackfruit and mango, that will grow best in these conditions,” said Sharma.

He added that leaves collected from the campus will be used to prepare the bio mix to prepare the soil.

Three to five saplings will be planted randomly per square meter.

The “forest” will become self-sustaining after two years of watering and de-weeding. In a decade of growing undisturbed, it becomes equivalent to a 100-year-old natural forest.

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