How one couple created a rainforest sanctuary from desolation - National Tree Day Blog

How one couple created a rainforest sanctuary from desolation

In a fantastic example of the power of the individual, or in this case two individuals, a couple has successfully transformed the fortunes of a patch of land that had been completely deforested.

Pamela and Anil Malhotra purchased the 55-acre patch of land now known as the Sai Sanctuary in 1991. At that time the land had been completely cleared to make room for cardamom and coffee fields, to the point the area was void of even grasses and shrubbery. 

The Malhotras began their project by first bringing back these native grasses, which eventually resulted in the return of native insects. Then it was onto bringing back the native trees, a task completed over a period of 20 years.

As the natural rainforest was rehabilitated, native fauna such as elephants and monkeys began moving back into the area. They were eventually joined by everything from river otters to leopards, elephants and even the threatened Royal Bengal Tiger. 

The government took notice and the department of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries introduced protections over the land. Today the rainforest is described by the United Nations as one of the most significant biodiversity “hot spots” in the world. 

The sanctuary has now created a registered non-profit organisation called Sai Sanctuary Trust and is expanding its work to include other areas of significance in India and the region.


Positive Action

  • Help create a sanctuary for our amazing Australian wildlife by planting a native as part of National Tree Day 2019.
  • Australia is blessed with many biodiversity hotspots of its own. Take a walk in a National Park or even an urban park and soak up the many benefits of connecting with nature.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.

Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.