Listed Below are Books in Print available at Kalpavriksh. For more information and details contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Kalpavriksh coordinated, on behalf of the ICCA Consortium, a gloabl study of ICCA Recognition and Support. The publication based on this, Recognising and Supporting Territories and Areas Conserved by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities: Global overiew and national case studies, published by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity as its Technical Series 64, includes 19 country level case studies

(Please Note: Print copies of this are not available. Only soft copy is available for download)

TheBalancingAct icon 

New Publications On ABS (Access And Benefit Sharing) In India: A Research Study And Four Sectoral Briefing Papers

 (Available in both English and Hindi). 

Kanchi Kohli and Shalini Bhutani

The study is an inquiry into whether India’s domestic legislative measure related to biodiversity and people’s knowledge –- the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, can in compliance with Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) become a balancing force. Based on actual experiences, including the first 108 ABS agreements signed by India’s National Biodiversity Authority and the positions of the Government of India vis-a-vis the international law on ABS contained in the Nagoya Protocol, it examines whether the legal regime gives equal attention to facilitating access by users on one hand, and on the other hand guaranteeing real benefits to local provider communities.

The annexure in the study also has a handy compilation of the state-level biodiversity rules from across India. Locating the law and its implementation in real time, the authors ask the question: Can the ABS framework developed under the Act actually tip the balance in favour of community sovereignty, sustainable use and biodiversity conservation? Or does it force notions of balance and goodwill into what are otherwise deep-rooted conflicts of control over biological resources and people’s knowledge?

Peep into the Contents: EnglishHindi

For copies, feedback or comments you may write to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contributory amount:(Postage as per actuals)

  • For the Study :INR 150 / USD 15 

  • For the Set of Four Papers: INR 120 / USD 10 .


The Jarawa Tribal Reserve Dossier - Cultural & biological diversities in the Andaman Islands

A dossier prepared by Kalpavriksh Pp 215,

Edited by Pankaj Sekharia and Vishvajit Pandya

One of the most distinctive, but relatively little known features of the Andaman Islands is an entity of land and sea called the Jarawa Tribal Reserve (JTR) - a space legally notified in the name and, arguably, the interests of the Jarawa tribal community. Until recently, the Jarawa were hostile to outsiders. As a result, those who might have exploited the resources of the reserve - poachers, settlers and developers - were denied access. However, the Jarawa have now chosen to cease hostilities, and the borders of the Jarawa Tribal Reserve have become permeable to intrusion, even though legally off limits to outsiders. The multiple changes that have ensued have enormous ramifications for both the Jarawa people and their lands. As much information relating to the Jarawa and the Reserve remains scattered and difficult to access, this Dossier has undertaken to bring together within the covers of one publication, information and views about the JTR emanating from a number of distinct disciplines. Indeed, one cannot comprehend the complex interactions between the biological and cultural diversity of this unique people and place without adopting an interdisciplinary perspective.

Download Dossier

Read the ReviewsSeminar/Survival International/The Hindu/Mail Today/Morrison World Media : Morning Post/Frontline


Community Conserved Areas in India – A Directory

Kalpavriksh Pp 800, Hard bound Rs 500

Compiled By Neema Pathak

This is a Directory of efforts or practices of local rural communities at conservation of biological diversity being referred to as Community Conserved Areas (CCAs). It is hoped that the Directory will be useful for those seeking to gain a deeper understanding of conservation, livelihoods, peoples' rights and development. This is done through compilation of 140 case studies and analysis of ground situation in 23 states of India, representing a diversity of ecosystems and kinds of efforts.

 sixyrsbioact icon

6 Years of the Biological Diversity Act in India:A Status Report: Why and how we examine  implementation

Pp63 Rs.75

This report takes a close look at the nature and extent of implementation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, and the associated Rules. The analysis is presented against the backdrop of the existing political economy which exerts a powerful influence on conservation legislation such as this Act. It locates the focus of implementation and the importance given to regulating access to biological diversity and the documentation of the same through national and local databases. It probes the extent to which principles of conservation find expression in implementation of this law. Through rigorously compiled data, the report illustrates whether the six years of implementation experience actually encouraged the achievement of any of the stated objectives of the Biological Diversity Act or works to the contrary.

The report also draws from many voices from the ground, recorded during the series of regional workshops organised as part of the ongoing Campaign for Conservation and Community Control over Biodiversity. In consonance with the mission of the Campaign, the authors especially focus on the directions that implementation has taken regarding  decentralised decision-making on biological resources, conservation of these resources and related knowledge, and the empowerment of communities.

Read the Reviews:


 guideBDA icon

A Guide to the Biodiversity Act 2002 Pp 80 Rs 150


This publication is part of the Biodiversity Information Pack, produced by Kalpavriksh, Grain  and IIED.

This booklet gives information about the Act as relevant to small farmers and activitsts working with them.


Coastal Conservation through Enterprise, at Rekawa Lagoon, Srilanka

Pp. 57, Quarto size, Colour cover, 8 colour pictures, 2000

S.U.K. Ekaratne, S.S.Jinendradasa, M.D. Abeysisrigunawardana & John Davenport


This case study describes efforts at enhancing the productivity of a lagoon while protecting its ecological character, in southern Sri Lanka. The initiative has been a collaborative effort between fisher folk and university researchers. The spin-offs are increased livelihood security and more effective conservation of the lagoon’s resources, and enhanced political empowerment of the local community.


Available for Download
 processdocNBSAP icon

Process Documentation of the National BioDiversity Strategy and Action Plan - India

Pp 108 Rs 100

Seema Bhatt and Kanchi Kohli with Ashish Kothari

As important as the outputs of any activity, is the process of formulating these outputs. It is with this spirit that the process of drafting the National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan (NBSAP) in India, moved away from the general trend of policy making. The effort was to decentralize the planning process as far as possible and proceed from the grassroots level upwards. Several thousand people all over the country were involved, through workshops, public hearings, yatras or rallies, and consultations. Many other ongoing biodiversity conservation processes were also been linked to, and past initiatives built upon. People from all walks of life, including those from local communities, government agencies, NGOs, academic and scientific institutions, the armed forces, politicians, journalists, and others were involved.

This 4-year process resulted in the preparation of 71 Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans at state, local, ecoregional and thematic levels, 32 sub thematic reviews, and a Final Technical Report (as a draft NBSAP) itself. Equally important, it led to significant creation of awareness, empowerment, and networking because of the nature of the process.

The documentation of this unique participatory process is therefore extremely important. Such an exercise with a detailed analysis, focusing on limitations and strengths, can serve as an useful model for other countries formulating their respective BSAPs, as well as other planning exercises within India This is more so in the light of the fact that such detailed process documentation has not been done in almost any other NBSAP process in the world. It is hoped that the documentation of the Indian NBSAP process will reflect the vast array and creativity of ideas, innovations, and participation at different levels, along with weaknesses and failures, and key lessons learnt.

This publication brings together the experiences, methodologies, and some results of India’s NBSAP process. Over 11 chapters it gives a background to the initiative, the institutional structure and an insight into various levels of planning. It further documents the innovative mechanisms used in both outreach and planning along with the process followed for preparing the draft NBSAP. It clarifies why this draft was finally produced as a Final Technical Report, and why a final NBSAP was still not ready as of late 2006. The final section is on emerging implementation at various levels of the planning process.

This exercise is a result of the efforts of thousands of people across India, and the document is a mere glimpse of their remarkable endevours to make planning a truly people-led process.

 UnderstdgBDAdossier icon

Understanding Diversity Act 2002 – a dossier

Pp 160 Rs 150

Compiled by Kanchi Kohli


This publication is part of the Biodiversity Information Pack, produced by Kalpavriksh, Grain  and IIED.



India’s biodiversity legislation was enacted in 2002 as the Biological Diversity Act. This law aims at governing the conservation, sustainable use of and access to biological resources. Towards this end, the act enables the setting up of new institutions and puts into force rules and agreements. The Act is significant to various groups, including communities, people’s groups, scientists and various national and international interests that aim to utilize India’s vast biodiversity.

From the very drafting stage, the legislation has been subject to criticism and a range of suggestions. The viewpoints have ranged from complete rejection of the Biodiversity Bill (and now the Act), to acceptance only with some significant changes. The latter viewpoint accepts and appreciates the spirit behind the legislation. Even though the implementation of the act has critical bearing on the conservation and ‘management’ of biodiversity, its existence is not widely known.

This dossier aims to put together scattered information available on the Act, related rules and agreements, so that the information is easily accessible. This is critical, not just to understand the text of the legislation but also the perspectives that go with it.

This compilation includes a background to the passage of the legislation and a brief introduction to its key components, along with the rules and agreements. It attempts to bring together the range of perspectives on the legislation and includes well-researched critiques as well as voices from the communities. The Dossier includes sections on the chronology of events that led to the notification of the legislation and its present implementation. It also presents a description of the institutional structure that has been prescribed by the legislation for its implementation.

secrngIndiafut icon 

Securing India's Future: Final Technical Report of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP)

Kalpavriksh, 2005 Rs 150

This publication consists of:

1. A full-colour booklet containing the Concise Version of the report (about 70 pages), and

2. a CD containing the full report in two volumes (approx. 1300 pages), 28 state/union territory action plans, 16 local action plans, 12 thematic action plans, 10 ecoregional action plans, 35 subthematic papers, over 20 methodological and conceptual notes, and images of the NBSAP process.

The NBSAP process, carried out over the period 2000-2004, undertook a nation-wide exercise of information collation and planning. It involved over 50,000 people in various activities and events. The resulting document, with detailed recommendations on all aspects of biodiversity, has unfortunately been moving at snail's pace at the Ministry of Environment and Forests (which commissioned it in the first place...but that's another story!). The final action plan is yet to emerge from MoEF, and we have no idea what it will contain. Hence we are publishing this report on our own, and making it available to the public.

The CD containing the full report (described above) is also available separately. It contains two volumes (approx. 1300 pages), covering 28 state/union territory action plans, 16 local action plans, 12 thematic action plans, 10 eco-regional action plans, 35 subthematic papers, over 20 methodological and conceptual notes, and images of the NBSAP process.

 Sourcebook on CommunityBasedConsvSA icon

Source Book on Community Based Conservation in South Asia: People, Policies and Publications 2000, Pp. 127, Quarto size, Colour cover

Compiled by Farhad Vania, Neema Pathak, Ashish Kothari and Tejaswini Apte,

This is a resource guide on Community- Based Conservation (CBC) in South Asia. The guide is divided into three sections. Within each section, each country of the South Asian region is dealt with separately. The first section consists of a listing of people and organisations in South Asia involved in work related to CBC. The second section contains an extensive bibliography of references related to CBC in South Asia, including relevant laws and policies of the region. The final section contains brief descriptions of the salient features of the laws and policies listed in the bibliography.

Available for Download
 guideIPR icon

A Simple guide to Intellectual Property Rights, Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge

Pp 150 Rs 150, Tejaswini Apte

 This publication is part of the Biodiversity Information Pack, produced by Kalpavriksh, Grain  and IIED.

 Patents, intellectual property right, biopiracy … these terms are appearing more and more frequently in the news. It is clear even to the layperson that these are controversial issues. What is not so clear is what they mean. What implications do they have for an ordinary citizen? Why are they such a hot topic of debate? What connection do intellectual property rights (IPRs) have with biological resources> what is the link to India’s traditional knowledge, such as the medicinal properties of turmeric that were patented in the USA a few years ago?

This handbook introduces the world of IPRs, biodiversity and biodiversity-related traditional knowledge in clear, simple language. Presented in a Question and Answer  format,  it  begins  with  the  most  basic  questions and progresses to more complex issues, making it easily accessible to laypersons as well as those who are already familiar with the subject. The Jargon Buster section breaks through the complicated language commonly used in IPR-related writing, and is designed to be a handy reference.

IPRs and private monopolies over biological resources and related traditional knowledge can have direct negative effects on India’s food security, biological diversity, the protection of traditional knowledge, and the rights of traditional communities such as farmers and forest dwellers.

Despite the wide-ranging implications of IPRs, debate on these issues is restricted to a relatively small number of policy-makers and academics. The overall impression is that ‘IPRs’ is a subject that only specialists can deal with. This needs to change especially because IPR-related policies and decisions affect all of us, often adversely. The world of IPRs must be demystified, and enter national mainstream debate so that advocacy groups, NGOs, media persons, public servants, local communities and all other citizens can understand and engage with the issues.

This handbook is a step towards filling the gap of user-friendly information and encouraging mainstream debate on IPRs, biodiversity and traditional knowledge. It is hoped that readers will use this handbook in a variety of ways: to design their advocacy campaigns, to take the debate into the mainstream media, or to engage with their government whether as public servants, as informed members of the public, or as organized campaigners.


Where Communities Care: Community Based Wildlife and Ecosystem Management in South Asia 2000 Pp. 222, Quarto size, Colour cover, Rs 100

Ashish Kothari, Neema Pathak and Farhad Vania

This book includes an ecological and socio-economic profile of South Asia. It describes the history and current status of biodiversity conservation in general and Community Wildlife Management (CWM) in particular, in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Also given is a description of the major ecological, economic, social and policy-level impacts of CWM, and a regional analysis of the issues arising out of CWM and possible follow-up actions at local, national and regional levels. It is based on case studies from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Available for Download

 SharingtheBenefitsofBiodiversity icon

Sharing the Benefits of Biodiversity: The Kani-TBGRI deal in Kerala, India

2000, Pp. 43, Quarto size, Colour cover, 7 colour pictures,  R.V. Anuradha

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) concluded at the Earth Summit in 1992, mandates that where utilisation of the knowledge, innovations and practices of local and indigenous communities leads to benefits, such benefits shall be equitably shared with the holders of such knowledge, innovations and practices. The study analyses some of the issues that have emerged in the context of a ‘benefit-sharing exercise’ attempted by the Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) - a research institute based in Kerala - with the Kani tribals of Kerala. This was pursuant to the development of a pharmaceutical drug based on the knowledge and natural resources that Kanis nurtured over many years.



Does Community Based Conservation Make Economic Sense? Lessons from India. Pp. 80, Quarto size, Colour cover, 16 colour pictures, 2000

Sushil Saigal,

This book assesses the economic (material, financial) and other benefits that communities and society in general receive from community based management of natural resources. Examples from various parts of India illustrate the point that conservation does not have to be inimical to people’s livelihoods and economic development but in fact can greatly complement human welfare and economic well-being.


Forest Revival and Water Harvesting: Community Based Conservation at Bhaonta - Kolyala, Rajasthan, India

Pp. 70, Quarto size, Colour cover, 12 colour pictures

Swati Shresth with Shridhar Devidas

The remarkable story of twin villages that overcame drought and deforestation, over a period of 15 years, by decentralized water harvesting, forest regeneration and protection, and community mobilisation for appropriate development.


Tribal Self Rule and Natural Resource Management: Community Based Conservation at Mendha Lekha, Maharastra, India

2001, Pp. 150, Quarto size, Colour cover, 11 colour pictures, 3 maps

Neema Pathak and Vivek Gour Broome,

 The story of Mendha Lekha village in Gadchiroli district of Maharastra State in one of struggle and transformation of a once-suppressed Gond tribal community into a well-informed and empowered one. This book describes the process of attaining self-rule and taking control of the surrounding forests, which has resulted in an enhancement of social and ecological security. It explores the reasons for the success of this community initiative, constraints it faces, future directions to take and major lessons that it holds for a decentralised conservation system in the country.

Available for Download
 CustomsNConservation icon

Customs and Conservation: Cases of Traditional and Modern Law in India and Nepal

Pp. 130, Quarto size, Colour cover, 8 colour pictures 2002

Ruchi Pant,

 With detailed case studies of Arunachal Pradesh in India and Annapurna Conservation Area in Nepal, and sprinkled with examples from other parts of the subcontinent, this book examines the current relevance of customary laws and practices of local communities, to conservation. It also assesses the interface between such laws, and the statutory or modern laws of these countries.

Available for Download
 Participatory Conservation icon

Participatory conservation: Paradigm Shifts in International Policy: A compilation of outputs from global events related to participatory conservation

Pp 118, colour cover

Formal conservation in most countries has predominantly focused on the creation of protected areas, seen as islands of biodiversity ad protected from human intervention. More recently, however, there is increasing recognition of the value that local, indigenous and mobile communities can bring to the process of conserving bio-diversity, and of the need for a range of conservation types from strict protection to multiple sustainable use.

The outcomes of two recent global events: the Vth World Parks Congress (Durban, September 2003) and the 7th Conference of Parties of the Convention of Biological Diversity (Kuala Lumpur, February 2004) reflect such a paradigm shift. The concepts of Community Conserved Areas and Collaborative Management gained widespread acceptance at both these global events.

This booklet would be useful for people from various sectors working on wildlife / biodiversity conservation, community based natural resource management conservation based livelihood and poverty eradication, gender and equity in relation to conservation, and related topics.

Available for Download