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Campaign to save the 7770 hectare Delhi Ridge Forest from roads, construction, garbage-dumping. Later joined by other NGOs to form a joint action forum. Publication of Delhi Ridge: Decline and Conservation, in English and Hindi, in 1991/1997. Campaign subsequently expanded to green areas in various parts of Delhi, and against indiscriminate tiling as part of the Free the Trees campaign. Saving Delhi's Green Areas: A Citizens' Guide, brought out in 1994. Petition on tiling and tree-felling in Delhi High Court, and an Urban Green Project started to consolidated these activities, in 2005. Participation in Trees for Delhi campaign to save thousands of trees slated for felling for bus rapid transport system, in 2007.
Natural history work, including bird counts in Delhi, nature camps in protected areas, publications on urban forests and wildlife (e.g. birds and butterflies of Delhi, birds of Pune).
Involvement in schools, colleges, and other institutions, to spread environmental awareness. Initially restricted to Delhi, later spread to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Karnataka, Pune, Ladakh, and other areas. Manuals for the islands (Treasured Islands, and Nammuda Dweep Lakshadweep) published in English and local languages in the late 1990s, and manuals, games, and posters for Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary and Ladakh in 2006.
Padayatras (footmarches) through Garhwal, with Chipko activists, understanding deforestation and its impacts of people's lives. Continued involvement through support to anti-Tehri movement, and documentation of forest conservation efforts in some areas.
Investigation into death of 6 villagers, in police firing, while forcibly entering the Bharatpur National Park. The group's first brush with the people and parks issue, with the investigation report arguing for a new approach to conservation taking into account livelihoods.
A 50-day trek and journey along the Narmada river, to understand the valley's natural and cultural milieu, and assess the possible impacts of the proposed large dams. Detailed critique of Narmada Project published in 1984 in Economic and Political Weekly, and The Ecologist. From 1985, involvement in the anti-Narmada project movement, and in issues relating to other big dams. Publication of three booklets on Narmada (Narmada Project: A Critique; Muddy Waters; and Environmental Aspects of SSP), a comic book (River of Stories), several reports on dams, and a regular newsletter on big dams (Narmada) for some years.
Received the Sanskriti Award for Outstanding social achievement in Delhi
Investigation into toxic chemicals storage and usage at Shriram Chemicals factory, Delhi, and intervention into MC Mehta case in Supreme Court on gas leak from the factory; intervention also arguing for public Right to Know.
Investigation into mining in Nahin-Kala village, Dehra Dun district, U.P., followed by legal action. Continued involvement with the village, in late 1990s, in watershed and seed revival work.
Involvement in environmental problems of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, including detailed study on logging and its ecological and cultural impact. Ongoing petition in Supreme Court to protect the Onge tribe from destruction, expanded to various environmental issues of the A&N, resulting in stoppage of commercial logging. Listserve on A&N issues, 2003-onwards.
Participation in issues relating to the Convention on Biological Diversity, including international networking and national follow-up. Members involved in formulation of national biodiversity action plan, Biodiversity Act, and critiques of intellectual property right regimes. Publication of several related books, including Conserving Life: Implications of the Biodiversity Convention for India, a three-part Infopack on the Biodiversity Act and IPRs, and others. Participation also in Intergovernmental Panel on Forests, and in related studies on Underlying Causes of Deforestation.
Study on post-construction impacts of three large river valley projects: Hirakud (Orissa), Ukai (Gujarat), and Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyojana (Rajasthan). Published in Economic and Political Weekly, in 1998.
Preparation of Community Biodiversity Register, with Beej Bachao Andolan (BBA), of Jardhargaon, Tehri Garhwal; subsequent involvement in highlighting BBA's efforts, linking them up with consumer markets for organic produce.
Publication of Protected Area Update (originally Joint Protected Area Management Update), a bi-monthly on conservation and livelihood issues. Now in its 67th issue. Publication of Joint Protected Area Management: A Simple Guide- How it will benefit Wildlife and People, in 2000; and of Protected Areas in India: A Profile, in 2001.
Aimed at students and people wanting to work in environmental organizations, publication of guidebooks The Little Green Guide (Delhi, 1995) and Pune Green Guide (Pune, 2001).
Jungle Jeevan Bachao Yatra (Save Forest Life Rally), through 16 protected areas in western, central, and northern India, in association with Tarun Bharat Sangh, Ekta Parishad, Sanctuary Asia, Centre for Environment Education, IIPA, Maharashtra Arogya Mandal, Vikalp, and others
Organising annual National Consultations on Wildlife Conservation and People's Livelihood Rights, in association with several wildlife and social activist groups.
Research and involvement in community-based conservation (CBC) and natural resource governance initiatives. Members coordinated a South Asian survey on this topic. 1999 onwards, preparation of a Directory of Community Conserved Areas (CCAs) in India. Publication of Where Communities Care, a South Asian overview, and a series of monographs on CBC. In 2000-01, study of community based sea turtle conservation. Focus on CCAs in Nagaland and Orissa, 2005-onwards; series on CBC in Hornbill, 2006-onwards.
Local issues in Pune, including tree-felling, proposed spraying of weedicide to control hyacinth in river, campaign to replace plastic carry-bags with cloth bags, and production of Birds of Pune in 2001 and Pune Green Guide: Guide to Environmental Opportunities in Pune. Initiation and coordination of Pune Tree Watch from 2005; widespread plantation with citizens, government agencies, army and private companies in 2007.
5-year assessment of biodiversity of Amba Valley (Maharashtra), in relation to watershed development programme of Rural Communes.
Hosting students of the International Honours Programme, USA, with thematic focus on conservation, livelihoods, and development. In 2006, hosting members and partners of the group Partners for Community Development, a Chinese civil society organisation, on an India tour to explore alternative developmental models.
Chosen coordinator of Conservation and Livelihoods Network, aiming to bridge the gap between conservationists, wildlife officials, social activists, and villagers.
National study and campaign on mining in protected areas. Publication of Undermining India: Impacts of Mining on Ecologically Sensitive Areas, in 2003.
Co-chairpersonship and Secretariat for the Theme on Governance, Equity, Livelihoods, and Protected Areas (TILCEPA), an international network of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy. As part of this, coordination of People and Equity theme in World Parks Congress (2003), instrumental in including Governance as a key element of the CBD Protected Areas Programme of Work (2004), and introduction of the concept of Community Conserved Areas (CCAs) into international policy. Publication of Participatory Conservation: Paradigm Shifts in International Policy, in 2004.
Assessment of links between environment and tribal self-rule initiatives, including panchayat legislation, in association with Lokayan.
Member of working group to draft the National Wildlife Action Plan 2002-2020.
Study of natural resource conflicts and their resolution across India, in association with Lokayan.
Coordination (2000-2003) of Technical and Policy Core Group, formulating India's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, on behalf of Ministry of Environment and Forests. Publication of final report as Securing India’s Future, in 2005, and continued involvement in state or national NBSAP related processes. Publication of Process Document of the NBSAP, in 2006.
Research and campaigning on environment and forest governance measures, including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, National Environment Policy, Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, and others; publication, in 2005, of Eleven Years of the EIA Notification: How Effective Has it Been?; in 2011 Pocketful of Forests: Legal debates on valuating and compensating forest loss in India . Initiation and coordination of Open Letter process with several dozen other civil society organizations, on these and other topics. In 2005, collaborated with national and regional groups on the Campaign for Environment Justice-India (CEJI) related to the amendments to the EIA notification.
Collaboration with GRAIN (formerly Genetic Resources Action International) for work on biodiversity, biopiracy, and IPR issues. Several joint publications and workshops.
Research, advocacy, and networking relating to big dams in north-east India; guest editing of Ecologist Asia magazine on this issue in 2003; publication of Large Dams for Hydropower in Northeast India: a Dossier, in 2005.
Initiation of women’s collective Vanastree on traditional seeds, home gardens, and natural resource based livelihoods, in Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka; regular biodiversity festivals.
Regular writing for children: NBSaaaNP Tales (series of biodiversity-related stories) in Chandamama; Vasudha, a supplement of Chandamama, on biodiversity (translated into 12 languages); series on ecotourism and on natural ecosystems of India, for Chandamama; Good Earth monthly contribution to Hindu Young World since 2003; series of stories in Maharashtra Herald since 2005.
Initiation of Safe Festivals campaign, starting with Holi, subsequently including other festivals. Marketing of natural colours for Holi in Pune and other cities.
Guiding investigation into organic cotton in several states, publication, with Deccan Development Society, of Organic Cotton: Reinventing the Wheel, in 2004.
Organisation of 'Ecomela' to commemorate Kalpavriksh's 25th anniversary, aimed at creating awareness about Pune’s immense biodiversity, in association with several other Pune based groups.
Initiation (with GRAIN) of a national Campaign on Community Control over Biodiversity, related to the Biodiversity Act and other related laws/policies; listserve on Biodiversity Act, 2007-onwards.
Environment education work in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Sanctuary, Karnataka, with local NGOs
Involvement in environmental education, community based ecotourism, and other aspects of environmental work in Ladakh, in collaboration with local NGOs.
Creation of a website, aimed at becoming a major vehicle of outreach for and feedback on KV’s activities
Involvement in Tribal Forest Rights legislation, lobbying for a balanced approach to rights and conservation in its provisions. Tracking the impacts of its implementation, 2007-onwards.
Research on impacts of protected areas on local communities, as part of a UNESCO small grants programme on human rights.
Revival (with several partners) of Conservation and Livelihoods Network in the form of a Future of Conservation network, with two national meetings in 2006 and 2007, and ongoing joint campaigns, inputs to government, and lobbying.
Publication of People in Conservation, a newsletter on community based conservation, in English and Hindi
Initiation of Documentation Centre on Community Based Conservation, in Pune, with reading room, and electronic databases and outreach.
Investigation into forest fires and ban on NTFP collection in Biligiri Rangaswamy Sanctuary, Karnataka; subsequent lobbying with local groups on recommendations.
Involvement in Bhimashankar Sanctuary, Maharashtra, exploring activities relating to conservation and livelihoods, pilgrim/tourism management, and education.
Initiation of Pune Citizens’ Environment Forum, an interface between the administration and citizens’ groups.
Publication of the first story book for children by Kalpavriksh, Ghost of the Mountains.
Release of Ri Gyancha, a biodiversity resource kit for educators in Ladakh by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, and by Jairam Ramesh.
Development of localised educational material for schools in Kachchh in collaboration with local NGOs.
Vikalp Sangam (Alternatives India) process was launched in India in order to provide documentation for and to build awareness of alternative ways of meeting human needs and aspiration without trashing the earth and without leaving half of humanity behind. Alternative ways would address some or all of: Ecological sustainability, Social well-being & justice, Direct democracy and Economic democracy. The process involves meetings of practitioners periodically, at different locations spread out over the country, and a website which has stories, perspectives, resources and events of an alternative nature.
Development of localised educational material for children around the forests of Central India with local NGOs.
Radical Ecological Democracy website was launched to bring about an arrangement (at world level) in which all people and communities have the right and full opportunity to participate in decision-making, based on the twin fulcrums of ecological sustainability and human equity. (A blog had been maintained for RED in the previous years.)
Regular publishing of children's fiction and non-fiction. Outreach through events, social media, bookstores and online sales.