Updated Mar 29, 2019

Conserving forest by making furniture using Lantana an invasive alien species in forest to generate livelihood for tribal

https://www.amrita.edu/news/amrita-faculty-member-initiates-sustainable-development-project-tribal-villages

Maya Mahajan

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Lantana an invasive alien species which is posing threat to biodiversity in forests in Siruvani is cut from the forest with the help of local tribals and tribals are trained to make furniture using lantana for sustainable livelihood generation

Since lantana is hardy shrub, its wood can be used to make strong and durable furniture, Weed to Wealth. Tribal people who have easy access to forest are involved in mechanical control of Lantana by manually cutting & at the same time tribals are being trained in making low cost furniture, handicraft, toys & other utility articles using Lantana wood. Low cost furniture making technology...
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Since lantana is hardy shrub, its wood can be used to make strong and durable furniture, Weed to Wealth. Tribal people who have easy access to forest are involved in mechanical control of Lantana by manually cutting & at the same time tribals are being trained in making low cost furniture, handicraft, toys & other utility articles using Lantana wood. Low cost furniture making technology is transferred to them and capacity building is done. Thus generation of sustainable livelihood options for Tribals and Forest conservation is achieved at the same time. During last four year training on lantana craft & furniture making was provided to 100 tribals in Singampathy, Sarkarporathy and Kalkotipathy hamlets .“95% of workers are tribal women who previously had no source of regular income. This work is very convenient for them as they can continue the work in their own homes Logical Indians October 9th, 2018 Assistance has been provided to communities in marketing of the products in potential market areas in India. Market linkages are being established in Coimbatore and other major cities in India. Furniture looks exactly like the bamboo or cane furniture, but is more durable. The cost of lantana furniture is also much lesser than bamboo furniture as the raw material is available for free.” The better India July 2017 “Not only is it cheap and durable, it will also help conserve bamboo and cane trees, which otherwise are cut down to make furniture,” The Better India July 2017.
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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

Technology to make low cost furniture using invasive plant species Lantana which is posing threat to forest ecosystems is transferred to local tribals During last four year training was provided to 100 tribals. Now we need to take it to larger scale

Focus Areas:

Biodiversity, Forestry, Social Development and 1 MoreSEE ALL

Biodiversity, Forestry, Social Development and Natural ResourcesSEE LESS

Implemented In:

India

IndiaSEE LESS

100
Lives Impacted to Date
1
Country Implemented In
200
Customers
2
Employees
$80,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

Lantana camara is an invasive alien plant species posing serious threat to forest ecosystem and biodiversity in Western Ghats. Tribals residing in the forest are trained to remove Lantana and make furniture using Lantana.

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Solution

Thus growth of Lantana is controlled and sustainable livelihood opportunity is provided to tribals living in the forest. Thus it addresses problem of Forest conservation, Global Climate Change and Sustainable livelihood of indigenous community depending on forest produce.

Target Beneficiaries

Lantana is invading different forest areas and posing serious threat to native vegetation in Western Ghats including Siruvani. There is pressing need to control the invasion of this weed . In this project tribal community is involved in mechanical control of Lantana by manually cutting and at the same time this Lantana wood is utilized to make value added products such as low cost furniture, handicraft, toys etc. So forest conservation and sustainable livelihood is achieved at the same time

Mission and Vision

I would like to conserve biodiversity in forest ecosystems in India and other countries by mechanically controlling invasive alien species such as Lantana by making use of them to make value added products with the help of local communities and provide sustainable livelihood options to communities. I would like to empower tribal communities by transferring technology in Lantana furniture making as well as protect forest from invasive species and create a win win situation for forest & community

Competitive Advantage

Weed to wealth is totally new concept. Here you are conserving forest by removing invasive alien plants which are posing threat to forest at the same time we are generating sustainable livelihood for tribals. Controlling Lantana is very expensive and labourious process. Forest department is finding it extremely difficult to control this weed which is a major threat to biodiversity and wildlife. Tribals are getting benefited as raw material is almost free of cost and they learn new technique to make beautiful and trendy furniture using this plant. Furniture exactly looks like cane furniture bur more durable sterdy and cheap as raw material is free of cost. So this furniture is eco friendly and much cheaper than cane furniture. “Not only is it cheap and durable, it will also help conserve bamboo and cane trees, which otherwise are cut down to make furniture,” The Better India July 2017. There is potential market for this product in India as it looks trendy & is very low cost and durable

Planned Goals and Milestones

We need to replicate this in different parts of India and other counties where Lantan is invading forested areas. We are also planning to develop new designs as per the demand in market. We need to get funds to expand this further in India and other countries. We need to develop marketing strategies. We are trying to market products on line on sites such as Amazon.
Funding Goal300,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted10,000
New Implemented CountriesAustralia
Recruit3 Management 1 advisory 3 Staff
New FeatureControlling plant invasion in forest ecosystems and generating sustainable livelihood for Tribal community

The Team Behind the Innovation

Dr Maya has done doctoral research in invasive alien plant species in various forest types in Western Ghats. She has established a Lantana furniture centre. She is a postgraduate in botany and doctorate in Environmental Sciences She has 25 years of experience in research, training, management in various sectors of Environment and Development - Biodiversity Conservation, Biological Invasion, Sustainable Development, Participatory Forest Management, Forest Ecology, tribal development etc

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN AND YOUTH

Milestone

Jan 2018
New Product Or Service
Lantana furniture and craft designs
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
India

Supporting Materials

The-Logical-Indian-maya.pdf
The-Better-India-1-.pdf
Indian-Women-blog-Maya.pdf