Delhi is home to many parks and forest patches, the latter mostly spread out over the Delhi Ridge. At present, the city has forty-two city forests and two biodiversity parks, and numerous recreational and garden spaces. These forests and green spaces act as a sink for carbon dioxide, reducing air pollution levels in the city. Moreover, they are also responsible for lowering the ambient temperature-this effect is readily seen as one moves from a congested road to a city forest or a park! These patches provide habitat to a variety of flora & fauna, many of which have established their niches exclusively in urban ecosystems.
However, these patches are threatened by encroachments and are at a risk of getting further fragmented, lost, or converted to some other land-use. Delhi has multiple agencies for managing the city’s woodlands and its flora and fauna baselines are available in archives and libraries. However, this data is often fragmented and purposeless for scientific research. Further, a lack of periodic monitoring of these patches across time, space and different scales implies that structural and/or functional changes often go unstudied or unnoticed. A detailed set of scientific data is thus needed for robust research in future.
In view of these issues, the Centre has initiated its Parks & Forests programme, aiming to comprehensively study urban green spaces to understand concerns over their future. There will be particular emphasis on using ecologically sensible interventions that benefit non-human and human components of these urban landscapes.
- To collect high quality, small-scale scientific baseline data of flora & fauna of the city to understand the structural and functional aspects of urban forests
- To restore degraded forest lands to native Aravalli ecosystems, enhancing their productivity and resilience
- To serve as a repository for periodic urban ecological data and historical data
- To facilitate holistic management of parks and forests by undertaking collaborative projects
- To provide opportunities to researchers to test ecological theories in practice.