Exclusive || We aim to integrate artificial intelligence with the cause of plantation: Apurva Bhandari, Founder, SankalpTaru Foundation

SankalpTaru Foundation has pioneered in environmental conservation, having integrated with Polygon to adopt blockchain technology. This integration enables the SankalpTaru Foundation to become the first Indian NGO in the environmental conservation space. 

The organization aims to integrate technology with the noble cause of planting trees. To understand the concept of blockchain and how the organization is extensively working towards the cause of tree plantation, The Quotes reached out to Mr. Apurva Bhandari, Founder of SankalpTaru Foundation, and held a detailed interaction. The following are some excerpts from the conversation:

How does the project’s blockchain aspect contribute to ecological conservation? What are the aspirations with blockchain?

It takes one’s tree ID and name for the system to give out the details of the plant. Polygon is a well-structured, easy-to-use platform for Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development. Because geo-coordinates are unique, this blockchain system prohibits the allocation of any tree to more than one donor.

This saves time and resources and enhances trust and transparency between our donors and us. We plan to pioneer through its various creative interventions and bring technology closer to the cause of one tree for one donor.

What are some of the other milestone projects that your team has accomplished?

For example, we’re doing drone seed-bombing in the tough terrain of Uttarakhand, where it’s not humanly possible to mobilize the team. We developed a solution in just two months, and three million seeds were seed-bombed at the start of the monsoons. So, we’re excited to replicate the experience in similar terrain.

Kindly update regarding work done in SankalpTaru’s primary domains – ‘Greening Pan India’, ‘ Geotagging’ and ‘Challenging Terrains’.

Striving for continuous efforts, we have explored, documented, worked upon, and identified farmer-lands in 26 Indian states and UTs. In introducing the geo-tagging technology, we have assured our growing donor family regarding their contributions, providing them with the coordinates of their plants.

Two-fold challenges have included identifying farmer-owned land, transporting supplies, and executing our existing programs in remote locations. 

Recently, DDA communicated to the Environment Ministry, claiming saturation of Delhi’s green belts and severe land shortage, to raise compensatory afforestation for the upcoming developmental projects. Is there a solution to such a grave situation?

Kitchen gardens, balconies with potted plants, maintaining public parks, and society-landscaped areas are a few must-adopt approaches.

How significant is Telangana Government’s decision to expand Forest College and Research Institute (FCRI), Hyderabad, into a full-fledged university?

It will give the Indian economy a boost by having a facility within close reach to develop and examine environmental research works and their implementation. Furthermore, international exchange of academics and related workforce in the environment sector would benefit the drive.

How can extensive plantation contribute towards reducing India’s carbon footprint and, SankalpTaru’s role towards this effort?

Firstly, extensive afforestation will elevate the recovery rate to restore ecological balance while sustainable methods are studied, developed, and adopted in full force globally. Secondly, awareness and continuous efforts will help propagate environmentalists’ mission.

Finally, the organization plans to play along on both sides, continuing our streamlined efforts to restore barren green lands, reversing the imbalance created by urban sprawl with innovative initiatives, i.e., awareness campaigns, disseminating through in-house applications, upholding our rural livelihood, and adapting newer ways to project information to the public.

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