Biodiversity

 

Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain life encompassing all that is vital to keep the world's many ecosystems healthy, balanced and thriving. However, the world’s vital biodiversity is threatened in a number of ways, including deforestation and habitat loss, over-exploitation, the presence of invasive species, pollution and the impacts of climate change. If left unchecked, these threats will eventually lead to the extinction of countless unique species and the loss of irreplaceable natural habitats, potentially leading to the collapse of whole systems, resulting in a range of impacts on individuals and societies, including loss of food supplies on which millions rely. Thus as a responsible organization JSW puts efforts to prevent or minimize the negative impacts of its operations on the ecosystem.

 

SDG Mapping of JSW Steel’s Initiatives & Projects

SDG 15: Life on Land

 

  • JSW has taken up various biodiversity conservation studies in and around its area of operation to come up with its biodiversity management plan. Biodiversity Assessment at Vijaynagar Works
    • At Vijayanagar, extensive biodiversity mapping has been undertaken by experts from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and PFE, thereby identifying 216 IUCN’s Red List species.
    • 441 plant species belonging to 100 families were recorded in flora.
    • In fauna, 69 insect species belonging to six orders, four amphibians and 20 reptile species, 154 bird species of 51 families, 18 mammal species and 46 fish species belonging to 16 families were observed.
    • Three vulnerable and one endangered species were found among plants. insects, and amphibians.
    • Painted Spurfowl and Malabar Lark are two endemic birds to the region.
    • Star Tortoise among reptiles and Sloth bear among mammals are protected under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
       
  • JSW Steel participated in Bird Count of India.
     
  • The Million Tree Plantation Project has been initiated in nearby degraded forest areas at Dolvi and Karav with a vision to achieve 1 million tree plantations, in collaboration with the forest department. In the year 2018, 26,555 trees were planted, taking the total number to 2,01,539. In Dolvi, the Company has planted a large number of saplings in the plant premises and has undertaken focused efforts to develop a green belt by maintaining the full-fledged nursery. During FY19, a total number of big trees and shrubs/small trees is over 2 lakhs and 5 lakhs respectively.
     
  • The Company is promoting ex-situ conservation of native red-listed plant species within the JSW Complex.
     
  • The Company undertook joint forest management initiatives with the State Forest Department for greenery development outside its premises, with special emphasis on biodiversity.
     
  • The Company was among the pioneers to sign up and commit to the Indian Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI), an initiative by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change. In compliance with India Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI) declaration, JSW has mapped the biodiversity interfaces with business operations designated as biodiversity champion and has implemented schemes for enhancing awareness on biodiversity within the organisation.
     
  • Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) experts visit regularly for awareness creation among employees and school children.
     
  • JSW has also signed two MOUs with BNHS, Mumbai, and People For Environment (“PFE”), New Delhi for biodiversity assessment in JSW Steel Complex. Four season studies within 5 km by PFE and two season studies in 10Km outside JSW Steel Complex by BNHS are complete and reports have been duly published. And post that, recommendations of these studies are being implemented.
     
  • During the year 2018-19, measures were also undertaken to develop greenery in 432 acres of degraded forest land adjacent to the JSW Steel Complex in association with the Karnataka State Forest Department. Several species have been planted in the area to improve the overall biodiversity of region.

SDG 14: Life below Water

 

  • The Company engaged in research and promotion of constructed wetlands for Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, leading to increased avian and aquatic biodiversity.
     
  • JSW has taken up various water biodiversity conservation initiatives and one of the highly appreciated projects is the ‘Mangrove Conservation Project’ in Dolvi. It was also highlighted as a case study in IBBI India Business & Biodiversity Initiative publication 2019.
     
  • Mangrove Conservation Project
    • JSW Steel Dolvi Works depends upon JSW Infrastructure’s Dharamtar Port for its inbound and outbound logistics. The Dharamtar Port is a riverine port situated on the creek and is formed by the flow of River Amba, with uniform depth in the range of 10m, and has a moderate cover of mangroves with mudflats and low-lying, marshy areas on its sides.
    • Heightened anthropogenic activities such as coastal development, deforestation, urbanisation, conversion into paddy fields and aquaculture ponds, over-harvesting of timber and fuel-wood, and dumping of domestic sewage have resulted in depletion of the mangrove's habitat and impeded its ability to provide ecological services. The depletion of mangrove habitats also negatively impacts agricultural land due to the intrusion of saline water, resulting in loss of crops for the local farmers. Considering these factors as well as the current port operation and future expansion, the role mangroves play in sustaining the creek is even more crucial.
    • Taking cognizance of future operational modalities of the port and various impacts of anthropogenic activities, JSW developed a 3-year Mangrove Restoration Plan in consultation with local stakeholders to mitigate impacts of the port, consider adaptation measures for future climate change impacts, and control intrusion of saltwater into the agricultural lands.
    • The project was started in 2016, covering 5 contiguous villages and impacting around 16,500 fishermen and farmers from 6 group gram panchayats. It was planned for three years in phases as summarised below -
      • Phase I:
        • Plantation of 3,00,000 saplings on 60-hectare area with an investment of INR 283.35 lakhs
        • 3 awareness- cum- training sessions for local stakeholders
      • Phase II:
        • Construction of embankment around the 5,000-hectare land to control intrusion of saltwater into agricultural land with an investment of INR 134 lakhs
        • Plantation of 1,05,000 saplings on a 20-hectare area with an investment of INR 21.08 lakhs
        • 7 awareness- cum- training sessions for local stakeholders
      • Phase III:
        • Plantation of 4,30,000 saplings
        • Target to plant 1 million saplings cumulatively by 2020 (3,00,000 done in 2019-2020)
           

The initiative of JSW supports India's National Biodiversity Action Plan 2014.

 

Biodiversity Conservation – A tool for community development

The JSW Foundation, CSR arm of JSW Group, is steadfast to work towards mitigating adverse effects of climate change by bringing in innovative technology-based solutions to ensure clean villages, conserving and augmenting water, promoting biodiversity, sanitary living conditions & sustainable livelihoods.
 

Nature Interpretation Centre

For promoting biodiversity JSW has built a state-of-the-art Nature Interpretation Centre (NIC) at the Daroji Bear Sanctuary, situated close to our Vijayanagar plant in Karnataka. Daroji is Asia’s largest and India’s only natural habitat for Sloth Bears, created exclusively for its preservation. Today, it is home to 120 bears, along with leopards, hyenas, and several other animals. Nearly 90 species of birds and 27 species of butterflies have also been identified here.

The Natura Interpretation Centre, launched in association with the Forest Department of the Govt. of Karnataka, shines the spotlight on the stunning biodiversity in the region. With special focus on the Sloth Bear, it also supports its preservation in the country immensely.

 

The Centre at the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is a one-of-its-kind joint effort by JSW and the Govt. of Karnataka, to protect the surrounding flora and fauna. We look forward to playing our part in making it the 'Nalanda University' of wildlife. 
by  Dr. Srinivas Kedar, Chief - CSR,JSW Foundation

JSW Foundation

JSW Foundation is the social development arm of JSW group governed by the ideology that every life is important and must be given fair opportunities to make the best out of it. The foundation takes conscious steps to support and empower communities, primarily located around its plants. The JSW Foundation has a footprint across 11 states and 15 districts, reaching out to 1 million individuals in the villages located around the manufacturing locations. The following are the key areas in which JSW Foundation works,

  • Skill Enhancement
  • Sports
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Agriculture
  • Water, Sanitation & Environment
  • Education & Learning
  • Art, Culture & Heritage
  • Rural BPO

More details on the projects and initiatives of JSW Foundation can be found at here.

 

 

Source information:IBBI publication