On June 15 2018, IUCN organised an awareness workshop on establishment and maintenance of nurseries for Tata Steel ground staff in their mining sites at Joda, Keonjhar, Odisha. The workshop aimed to arm the ground staff with basic knowledge on nursery management techniques so that they may successfully grow the targeted plant species for restoration of mine sites.
In 2016, Tata Steel adopted a group-wide Biodiversity Policy that subscribes to the concept of “No Net Loss of Biodiversity”. In order to achieve this, all Tata Steel mining sites have been equipped with site specific Biodiversity Management Plans (BMPs). One of the major components of these BMPs is restoration in the mining sites. IUCN has been engaging with Tata Steel to guide the development of the Biodiversity Policy, BMPs and is now supporting Tata Steel in implementation of the BMPs.
As a first step towards systematic restoration activities in the mine sites, strengthening of existing plant nurseries is being carried out. This will help in achieving required number of saplings of targeted plant species for the yearly plantation and restoration activities. With the objective of increasing the basic awareness among the ground staff, IUCN organised a workshop on nursery establishment and management at the Tata Steel Joda mine site. The target audience for the workshop was ground staff involved in managing the existing nurseries. Dr. Jean Pouyet from Auroville, Tamil Nadu, with over 40 years of experience in restoration and nursery management, was the key expert for the workshop.
The topics covered during this particular workshop included the methodology of proper layout of a nursery, seed collection, seed preservation techniques, seed treatment, seed germination, correct mixture of soil and manure, among various others. Dr. Pouyet spent two days in Joda before the workshop to understand the climatic conditions of the area to prepare for the workshop so that it could be more specific to the region. The interactive question-answer session ran for almost an hour with the participants sharing the various issues and problems faced by them, to which Dr. Pouyet then provided solutions.
A total of 45 participants (both male and female) benefitted from the workshop. The participants belonged to four mining sites of Tata Steel. IUCN is planning to organise more such sessions for other Tata Steel mining sites in the future.