Blog by Jayaraj
Jayaraj, award-wining film maker, reflects on ‘Birds Club International’ an Environment Project on the World Day to combat Desertification and Drought, 17th June 2021.
Birds Club International (BCI) aims to revive nature by not just planting trees, but by cooperating with various individuals and organisations in our society to highlight the importance of conservation, bringing about a change in the way people look at and treat their environment, and avail prompt sustainable use of natural resources. Our agents of change are primarily children and youth from various schools and colleges, eminent environmentalists and biologists, and other partners championing similar causes, and indeed anyone who is willing to spend their precious time supporting our environmental cause.
Since its inception in 2010, BCI has organised various conservation projects as well as launching the ‘Rain International Nature Film Festival’. In our world today, ‘Film’ is one of the most important creative ways in which the public can be educated about Mother Nature and the steps that we all can take to restore our damaged ecosystems. BCI has provided opportunities for children from schools and colleges as well as the general public from different parts of the world to be active partners in this film festival.
‘Project Rain Grove’ is another flagship program carried out by Birds Club International. Every year, on ‘World Environment Day’ (June 5th) we help schools, colleges, Non-Governmental Organisations, and the public to grow a miniature forest inside their campus or in public/private spaces. This project is supported by the Social Forestry wing of Dept. of Forests and Wildlife, Govt. of Kerala. Our organisation has been closely monitoring the progress of these miniature forests in various parts of Kerala and other South Indian States. The BCI aspires to introduce small green patches with the help of local volunteers. These grassroots efforts created insight about global environment challenges and sparked a conversation about the importance of nature and its conservation.
Our idea of creating small forests coincides with the theme of this year’s ‘World Day to combat Desertification and Drought’ by focusing on turning degraded land into a healthy one. Slowing down, reversing, and preventing the loss of productive land and natural ecosystems are all urgent measures for a swift recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has reinforced just how much we need our forests, drylands, wetlands, and other land ecosystems: for food, for the green economy, for eco-tourism, and as a buffer against extreme climate events.
Smart land restoration initiatives are particularly helpful for women and youth, who are often the last groups to receive help at times of crises. As we enter the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, we have a real opportunity to rebuild our environment after the pandemic. Ten years of resolute action by all actors in society has the potential to salvage not only Earth’s climate and its amazing biodiversity, but also to restore the whole of our precious planet, for the good of both people and nature. We all need to work together to ensure the long-term healthy survival of ourselves and our planet.
Read Khalid Ali’s introduction to Jayaraj’s films on the Medical Humanities blog.