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GEV Sustainability Team’s efforts toward Nature conservation


It is said that there are enough natural resources for everyone’s need but not enough for one person’s greed. We are consuming 1.8 times Earth as declared by scientists. This over exploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation is leading us into the perilous nexus cycle of untoward events such as high temperatures recorded in 40 years, drought and flood situation faced in same year in different seasons, icemass change in polar regions and rising of sea levels. In fact, its declared that we have entered in Anthropocene era where, human actions are impacting geologic, hydrologic, atmospheric and other natural systems.

Mother Nature is also considered one of the seven mothers we have in our life as humans according to Manu Samhita. Mother nature nourishes us with resources as food, water, shelter, etc. We need to reciprocate with her love by in turn caring and serving her. At GEV we serve Mother Nature in the mood of stewardship with an understanding of responsibility to judiciously use our quota of resources and taking effort in all possible ways to implement 7R principle of reuse, repurpose, rot, repair, return, refill and refuse.

GEV has taken concrete steps towards conserving Nature and is advocating for the cause with its experiential learning programmes for all age groups. GEV is celebrating World Nature Conservation day on 28th July 2020 with the philosophy that every action small or big towards nature conservation is reason for celebration. Its celebration not only for nature but in turn for life including we humans. Following is the list of efforts taken up by GEV:

Dancing Butterflies at Govardhan Ecovillage
Butterflies play a critical role contributing to Ecosystem by acting as cross pollinators, biological pest controllers, biodiversity enhancers and also induce genetic variation in plants. Ecologists use butterflies as model organisms to test the impact of climate change. Butterflies and moths are indicators of a healthy ecosystem. At GEV we have planted shrubs of Crotalaria Retusa which attract and provide habitat for butterflies. Thus, you see butterflies dancing in GEV.

Green Buildings at GEV
Govardhan Ecovillage an UNWTO awardee for Eco Tourism initiatives houses platinum rated green buildings built with 400,000 locally made compressed stabilized earth blocks (CSEB). The fundamental process for making these bricks is by compressing a combination of mud, stone dust and lime. Stabilization is achieved by 5-10%cement. While typical brick wall takes 75 MJ of energy, CSEB wall at GEV takes just 20.275 MJ. The special feature of these bricks is that plastering and painting is not required. GEV receives 15000+ guests every year in 120 well-furnished eco-friendly guest rooms awarding convenient stay. GEV hosts corporate retreats, school visits and study abroad programs for students.

10 million litres rain water harvesting aquifer recharge pond in GEV
GEV conducted a hydrogeological survey in the beginning of the project which helped create the largest rain water harvesting pond in the district along with increasing water tables by aquifer recharge and perennial water availability in wells. THE capacity of Water pond is 10 million litres. This has been a major support for agricultural and floriculture initiatives.

Animal Care and Alternative energy from animal waste at GEV
GEV is home to various animals as cows, sheeps, goats, horses, dogs etc. Happy cows and other animals are taken care of as family members. GEV has in an integrated manner addressed the issue of animal waste management in appositive manner by setting up biodigester generating alternative energy and vermicomposting of leftover solids giving highly fertile manure.

IIT B Patented Soil Biotechnology Plant for Sewage Treatment at GEV
Sewage which can be highly detrimental to health of soil and groundwater tables can be alternatively source of great nutrients supporting flora and fauna. IIT B patented 90 KLD capacity of SBT operated successfully at GEV with 97% efficiency. Multiple natural processes with root bacteria of specific plants, geophagus earthworms and other earth friendly bioreactors convert harmful sewage into fish fit water and manure.

Edible Landscaping at GEV & WNCD 10- subtitle- Natural surrounding at Goshala in GEV
GEV is blessed with very beautiful natural surroundings. GEV is situated at foothills of Sahyadri mountains. Amongst this nature blessed landscaping, GEV has made effort to beautify it further with several landscaping initiatives including edible landscaping an effort towards achieving food sustainability.

Yamuna river Artificial Lake in Biodiversity Park at GEV
GEV houses unique biodiversity spiritual park replicating holy place Vrindavan from India to promote cultural heritage. The park has water bodies & plants with hundreds of birds & butterflies. GEV is home to 8000 trees & plants belonging to 130+ species. GEV has replicated holy river Yamuna which is home to many fishes.

References:
Global Footprint Network (2020) Ecolgical Footprint, https://www.footprintnetwork.org/our-work/ecological-footprint/, accessed July 2020
National Geographic (2020) Anthropocene, https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/anthropocene/, accessed July 2020
Ripple et. Al. (2020) World Scientists’ warning of a Climate Emergency, Supplemental file S2