News & Notes 899:Forest Group meeting notes August-November 2021

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899 icon.jpg   News & Notes 899
4 December 2021


Forest Group meeting notes August-November 2021



Forest Group meeting minutes: Infinity 13-8-2021

Present: Rita, Fabian, Hans, David, Dave, Andreanne, Mathieu, Cristo, Agnès, Jan, Alyona, Ancolie, Andrey, Anglen and Mira (Infinity volunteers), Jean-Luc, Glenn, Elumalai, Noe, Achilles, Christoph, Segar, Kanniappan, D. Renu, Rik, Vengadesh, Yuvak, Eric, Laurence, Manolo, Vikram (Chair), Philippe (Notes)

  • Glenn reminded that it was the right time for preparing projects involving planting.
  • Achilles brought to our attention a project of extension of Velu’s house in Baraka. No objection was raised.
  • We got 2 additional requests for maintenance (Andrei and D. Renu), but they can only be added to the waiting list due to budget limitations.
  • Finally, a quick report was given about Infinity (where the meeting happened), e.g. a good collaboration with White Mongoose (in a neighboring private plot).


Forest Group meeting minutes: Bliss/Youth Centre 3-9-2021

Present: Agnes, Bernd, Andreanne, Mathieu, Vinny (all Hermitage), Vengadesh, Hans (both Abri Forest), David (Aurodam), P. Elumalai, Manolo (Bliss), Christoph (Bliss, Anusuya), Jan (Fertile Field), Kannyappan, Fabian (both Pitchandikulam Forest), Yuval, Jonah (Eternity), Balu (Azhagabhoomi), Kumar (Adventure), Rita (Centrefield), Jean-Luc, Cristo (both Revelation), Sandeep (Fertile), Andrey (Infinity), Eric, Achilles (Baraka), Philippe (Kalpana), Noe (New Lands), Ancolie (Evergreen), Henrike (Mango Field), Island (Espace), Segar (Equality)

Housing in Espace

There was a discussion around the house formerly built and stewarded by Dominik who recently left for Switzerland. The future steward of the house has to share infrastructure with neighbours and needs to be committed to work in the Forest as a caretaker and once the caretaker period is over, hopefully, as co-steward of Espace forest. In the meeting it was felt that Manolo (who presently lives in the house since Dominik’s departure would be a fitting choice as he fits the requirements of the place, already has a working relationship with Island. Furthermore, the place he used to occupy in Bliss is impacted by the opening up of the area for the future Crown. Another person interested in the place was Philippe who presently resides as house-sitter in Kalpana. He applied together with his partner Surya to the Housing Board to become future steward of the house. As conclusion of the discussion, the group heard that on the longer run additional people could, potentially, eventually stay at Espace but that as a first step Island would favour Manolo as steward. Island will inform and further discuss this with the Housing Board. In process.

Crown issue in regards to Bliss/Youth Centre

There was a long and emotional update on the situation, the work that has happened, the various meetings and a discussion on the impact this pressure has on the land, the people affected and the future development of Auroville. As we understand the Forest Group meetings as a safe space to voice individual opinions, share emotions and talk about sensitive issues, it was agreed that this particular discussion would not be published in the notes. This topic also touched the difficulties in having an active Residents Assembly and proposals to address this were briefly introduced.

Hermitage

The Forest Group heard about inter-community tensions in Hermitage. It was agreed that a sub-group (Ancolie, Jonah, Fabian, Aurosylle) would be formed to visit the place and hear from the various members. In process.

Azhaguabhoomi

Balu reported some encroachment issues which despite him being in touch with the Land Board are not seemingly solved. Yuval will follow up with him.


Forest Group meeting minutes: Espace 1-10-2021

Present: R. Kanniyappan (Pitchandikulam Forest), D. Segar, T. Saga (Azhaguboomi), G. Vengatesh (Abri Forest), Rita (Center Field), Manu (Meadow), Manolo (Bliss, Espace, YC), Hans (Abri Forest), David (Aurodam), Andreanne (Hermitage), Matthieu (Hermitage), Island (Espace) (notes, chair), Archana (Siddhartha Forest), Cristo (Revelation), Claudine (Minati), Andrey (Infinity), Jessamyn (Udumbu), Vinny (Hermitage), P. Elamalai (Bliss), Ana (Existence), Christoph (Bliss/Anusuya)

Hans:

  • The budget that was cut by 10% 2 years ago is now restored and adjusted by a further increase of 6% due to wage increases.
  • The FAMC has invited the Forest Group to discuss how to have a more organized/standardized method of keeping accounts that works for everyone. The initial meeting scheduled for Oct 5th cannot be attended by a majority of representatives so a later meeting date will need to be agreed upon.
  • The Secretary of the Auroville Foundation would like to do an envisioning of development priorities by doing an assessment of needs with members of Auroville Working Groups during the first or second week of October 2021, facilitated by Arun from Working Committee and Toine. Representatives are still to be identified to go to this meeting.

Segar:

  • Currently getting a half maintenance for working in Aranya. Requesting to get a full maintenance. He will be put on the waiting list if Hans confirms with Saravanan (Aranya Steward) that the work is being put in.

Manolo:

  • Currently getting a maintenance from the Youth Centre (YC). Working as Bliss Forest steward and a caretaker of Espace Forest. Would like to shift the maintenance from YC to forest to reflect the work done and to allow someone working in the YC to have the opportunity to benefit from the maintenance. To be put on the waiting list.

Manu:

  • Many wild pigs are being spotted all over AV. It may soon be time to look into solutions to manage them as they can cause significant damage to crops and seedlings. Anyone thinking to cull a pig should ascertain if it is legal to do so by checking up to date information. No clarity on this is currently available.

Christoph:

  • Updated that the area in the vicinity of the potential crown corridor is being worked on to find something for all stakeholders to agree to.


Forest Group meeting notes: Aurodam 5-11-2021

Present: Christoph (Anusuya/Bliss), Fabian (Pitchandikulam), Natasha (Evergreen), Alyona (Darkali), Kanniyappan (Pitchandikulam), Ambre (Nilatangham), Veronica (Gaia), Giri (Fertile East), Agnes (Darkali), Ancolie (Evergreen), Jan (Fertile Field), Enea (Miracle), Suraj (Celebration), Amos (Evergreen), Chris (Udumbu), Edzard (Discipline), Rita (Center Field),Island (Espace), Manolo (Espace/Bliss/YC), P.Elumalai (Bliss), Philippe (Anusuya), Achilles (Baraka), Vikram (Infinity), Yuval (Eternity), Yonah (Eternity), Vengatesh (Abri), D. Segar, Vinny (Hermitage), Jessamijn (Udumbu).

Aurodam announcements

  • Suraj – a videographer from Mumbai – is volunteering at Aurodam, working with David.
  • David’s leg and general health are doing great!
  • Mina would like to become Aurovilian, she has worked in Aurodam (in the nursery and tree planting) for 34 years.

Vision and reality meetings

The vision and reality meetings that had been paused because of Covid will resume at Botanical Gardens 3.30pm every 3d Friday of the month from this November onward.

Evergreen – The Sprout restaurant with hydroponic farm

ATDC sent an email to the forest group informing them that the plot between Road Service and Sustenance Farm (currently under the stewardship of Evergreen forest) had been approved for the development of The Sprout. Stating that this was a hydroponic farm which included a training and educational component. Members of the Forest Group responded in surprise at the lack of communication and process as the email did not even include a project proposal. A brief of the required procedure was sent. This broadly included a baseline data survey, impact assessment and mitigation strategies. Members of the Evergreen community were happy to meet and further discuss the participatory process needed for collaboration. At the meeting there was a single member of the ATDC and the project holders who shared the proposal that stated that it was a restaurant with a hydroponic farm. This was communicated at the Forest Group meeting where the need for a collaborative process reiterated.

Development in AV forest areas

With regards to the infrastructural developments that are happening in Auroville’s forests, we, the Forest Group, have collaborated as far as we could, believing in the need to do this in dialogue and meeting each other in compromise, with respect for processes.

We believe in a community process in the spirit of Auroville and until this is done, we feel strongly that no action should be taken.

Green Group

The Green group needs new members, please come forward.

Hermitage

A team (Jonah, Auroylle, Fabian and Ancolie) went to meet the Hermitage community to understand the issues that are between them. The group felt strongly that it is most important to keep the forest together under one stewardship. Followup will take place.

Udumbu

Amy and Chris would like to join Udumbu and build a house in the same location where previously an application was made for. Chris/Jessamijn will send the request per email to the FG so that it can be discussed in the next meeting.

Reminder of general steps for building application to FG:

  1. Send email to the FG with the request + drawings + site location;
  2. We discuss these in the first following FG meeting;
  3. We decide on the application in the meeting thereafter.

Maintenance request

Segar is asking for a temporary emergency maintenance. Follow up by Hans with Saravanan (Aranya, where Segar is working) and BCC is required.


Next meeting is at Eternity, Friday 3 Dec ’21, 3.00 pm


The Forest Group