It’s “functions” are to:
- Be the `lungs’ of Auroville by creating oxygen and filtering airborne pollution.
- Attract wildlife back by providing habitats and ecosystems for natural life cycles, combining all kinds of birds, animals, insects and trees; and by creating genetic “corridors”/uninterrupted areas for passage of pollen, seeds and wildlife.
- Teach and learn by offering environmental education and creating sites for research and training on wasteland reclamation, medicinal plants, watershed management, groundwater recharge, soil conservation, organic agriculture, integrated pest management, biodiversity, and various reforestation techniques.
- Produce food by emerging as the basis for food production, housing farms, dairies, orchards, and agroforestry by-products.
- Leverage scarce rainfall by reducing water run-off, enhancing soil moisture, increasing
rain percolation, and exploring watershed management and groundwater recharge.
- Improve the climate by providing shade, influencing the temperature, and reducing reflective heat and light radiation.
- Provide timber, fuel and fodder, as it is a forest after all.
- Offer tranquillity to the city-dwellers of Auroville, as the forest is naturally of scenic beauty and quiet, and the Green Belt should have promenade opportunities and natural vistas, which are of essential value to an urban population.
The true value of the Green Belt is in re-establishing the relationship between man and nature, one that is in balance.You can read the whole document here.