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Bioshield! A "Green Wall" protecting the livelihoods of poor communities

A project from Social Synergy Deutschland e.V.
in Jambusar, in the Bharuch District (Bundesstaat Gujarat), India

Soil erosion is destroying the livelihoods of extremely poor coastal communities in Northwest India. We are supporting them by planting a green wall that also creates labor. We have already managed to raise funds for a coverage of 17 kilometres.

Martin Vogelsang
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About this project

Indigenous people in the Northwest-Indian state of Gujarat are suffering from environmental destruction, bonded labor and landgrab by large corporations. One of our key projects is to protect the coastal region from erosion by building a „green wall“. 
We are establishing a multi-layered green wall with mangrove plantation   towards seaside, followed by Salvadora (Pilu), Unt Morad, Babul, medicinal and aromatic plants (Vetiver, Pamarosa, Lemon grasses), ending with fodder cultivation towards village side. Through its work VIKAS has observed that there is a clear linkage between poverty and degradation of natural resources. 

Social Synergy Deutschland is a non-profit charitable organization. Since seven years our sister organisation Social Synergy Foundation in India is cooperating with the local NGO "VIKAS - Centre for Development" at Rann of Kutch near the Arabian Sea. 
On the whole, this project covers a coastline length of 66.24 km. Plantation is on its way. We have already managed to raise funds for a coverage of 17 km length.  
Jambusar Taluka (Bharuch District) ist the name of the coastal region within the Indian State of Gujarat, where we mainly support fishermen called Rathods, deemed a Scheduled Tribe under the Indian Constitution. A population of around 200,000 persons are living in 80 villages and one town. 
They are facing a wide variety of challenges: 

1. Degradation of natural resources characterised by high soil erosion, rapid salinity ingress, depletion of mangrove forest adversely impacting lives & livelihoods of coastal communities, particularly poor. 

2. Successive droughts (22 droughts in 30 years) led people to pursue low investment - low return agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries as livelihood options. 

3. Low wage rates - 50% of the work force was engaged as agriculture labourers and employment was available only for 120 days in a year with extremely low wage rates compared to minimum wages prescribed by the State. 

4. High indebtedness – With very low incomes, agriculture labourers in order to survive had to borrow money from money lenders at an interest rate of 10% per month (120% per year). Non-repayment of loans forced these men & women to work as Chakars & Paniharies (low-paid forced contract labour).

Your donations will go directly to our colleagues working on the ground in India. If you would like to get further information please visit our website: