Podcast: Why we need to plant more native tree species in Bengaluru

Bengaluru has lost much of its natural vegetation to urbanisation. Majority of trees that do remain, cannot protect the city from heat island effects or climate change.

Look at Lalbagh Botanical Garden and Cubbon Park, and it’s easy to see why Bengaluru once claimed the title of ‘Garden City’. Rapid, unplanned urbanisation has drastically reduced the city’s green cover. Raj Bhagat, who works at the World Research Institute office here in Bengaluru, explains the history of the city’s loss of natural vegetation as seen through data.

Though Bengaluru still has several thousands of trees, these are mostly alien species. Natural vegetation, which is critical in terms of transpiration cycles, weather patterns, etc is completely absent here except for some sections of protected forests, says Raj.

Several organisations like SayTrees and Afforest have been trying to re-introduce natural vegetation in the city through Miyawaki plantation method. And more citizens are becoming part of such initiatives.

We also have retired IFS officer S G Neginhal, a pioneer of urban forestry, speaking about his experiences planting trees for four decades in Bengaluru and on why trees are now more important than ever for the city.

Find the full podcast series ‘Lessons from Bengaluru’ here.

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