In India's Western Ghats mountain range, 90 percent of the area's forests have vanished due to deforestation and climate change. The place is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Area and is home to over 325 globally threatened species. Thankfully an all-female team has a mission to protect the area's remaining biodiversity.
At Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary, a team of 27 women are fighting to preserve and protect the plant species and, by doing so, keep the regional ecosystem in balance. The plant sanctuary's been around for 50 years protecting endangered species. Three generations of "rainforest gardeners" (women from villages surrounding the area) have worked side by side with botanists to save the rainforest's ecosystem and keep it in balance ever since the sanctuary was established.
“We are trying to salvage what is possible. It is like a refugee camp or a hospital,” Suprabha Seshan, one of the curators at the reserve, tells Euronews.green. “The intensive care unit is in the pots and then when you take them out that’s like the general ward where they get other forms of primary health care.”
These women work in the forest, the sanctuary's greenhouses, and nurseries, taking care of the plants. When finding a suffering plant, the team first replant it, then feed it with compost and make a natural pesticide from cow urine. Seshan says that between 30 and 40 percent of the Western Ghats flora is under conservation.
The women's team cares for endangered ferns, flowers, and herbs growing in the area despite constantly having to fight off bloodsucking leeches and dangerous cobras. Brave and dedicated people make a sustainable and beautiful future come sooner, just like these incredible women.