Vanashakti has maintained working associations with communities who live in mangrove areas. The fishing community has always been a part of the mangrove habitat. Their livelihood is regulated by the quality and quantity of mangrove ecosystems due to the fact that mangroves are critical breeding grounds for fish. Vanashakti recognises these communities as key local stakeholders in any conservation initiatives.
The community is mobilized and made sensitive to mangrove destruction. Vanashakti as a team harbours good support from such local stakeholders in implementation of projects that deal with education, research, restoration and the protection of mangroves.
We are also working with tribals to prevent deforestation due to illegal cutting and burning of forests, and for the conservation of top soil (recklessly removed to make bricks) - its removal destroys the fertility of the soil, leaving the land barren.
We are training members towards alternate livelihood options like apiculture. We are also working with tribal communities of Wada taluka. The paper bags project ensures that paper bags are made exclusively by women Self Help Groups of the region. This has helped to reduce the influx of plastic into the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and has provided a sustainable livelihood option to the inhabitants of this rapidly degrading region. Quarrying, tree felling and brick making have ruined the ecology of this region.