News & Notes 900:Forest Group meeting notes of 3rd December 2021

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900 icon.jpg   News & Notes 900
11 December 2021

Forest Group meeting notes of 3rd December 2021

Meeting took place in Eternity.

Present: Dave, Vikram, Chris, Ancolie, Stefan, Yuval, Rita, Vinny, D. Segar, T. Saga, Agnès, Giri, Natasha, Christoph, Amos, David, Alex, Alyona, Michael, Sandeep, Glenn, Jonah

  • We were happy to hear from David an update about his health. He says he feels healthy.
  • Cristo asked the Forest Group to enquire from Patrick and Natalie when they would be coming back to Auroville. This was agreed.
  • Chris from Udumbu – the house building application sent via email to the Forest Group last month got approved after following due process, Chris will take the next steps to be able to move forward.
  • The Bliss forest stewards shared their current situation dealing with the ATDC. There were many positive ideas of how to deal with this negative situation and a long discussion ensued. One thing was clear, this has become a much wider issue which concerns all Aurovilians and not just the Forest Group and the Youth Centre.
  • FG will send an email to ATDC saying that we do not recognise their authority to make this kinds of decisions without the community process being followed.
  • There was a discussion on how we can have an event that would create more unity on this issue.
  • The Sprout
  • The processes in place for this are not being followed and that does bring some unease to the discussion. However this is maybe an issue for the Auroville Council to tackle not the FG.
  • There was a discussion on how much trees are of value to the current world and Auroville, the many positive and vital roles they have, and how much work it takes to establish a forest here in our conditions.
  • Some members asked what was the ATDC’s requirements for something to fall in a service area.
  • Some questioned if this is a project Auroville needs. However it was felt that this decision was for the community to make, not the FG.
  • While the focus of the Forest Group is the trees and green areas of Auroville, we are here to build Auroville.
  • There was a discussion on why this could not happen on the corner plot near Edayanchavadi. However its seems that this plot was leased out and there are many complications there due to due process not being followed.
  • The current plot proposed (0.33 acres) by ATDC is within the 40m area that was previously allocated for the services area, so if the Auroville residents and the ATDC approve this plot the Forest Group has no objection as long as ALL due processes are followed, surveys and assessments are done as has been discussed many times for any development of a larger project.
  • Most of the trees would be transplanted to another nearby plot not being used and not with road access.
  • Bunding and the amazing rains
  • Water catchment has been a work that the Forest Group has been busy with since its founding days.
  • These last rains have made it apparent that water management and catchment is something that needs to be a priority for Auroville again as it was in the 1980’s-2000’s.
  • This is a shared responsibility that every resident and community has to do their part in.
  • There should be a zero runoff policy, every site needs to catch the water and avoid it spilling onwards downstream, so that we can avoid some of the flooding that Auroville and the bioregion has witnessed.
  • Someone went to check on the last dam at the La Ferme canyon and calculated that about 1000 L/min were overflowing into the sea. Others shared similar stories.
  • Stewards shared how even in areas where in the past the forest was able to absorb the rainfall there was overflow this year.
  • Bunding/ Water-management is an important part of land management and city planning and we hope that ATDC and other concerned groups give it some thought.
  • It was mentioned that notes should be published earlier. We will do our best.

Next meeting is in Fertile.

~The Forest Group