Natural Resource Management
India is a highly land and water-stressed country as compared to global standards. The per capita agriculture and forest land availability are 0.12 hectares and 0.05 hectares respectively, which is one of the lowest in the world. Similarly, the per capita water availability of about 1500 m3/year, makes the country overall water ‘stressed’. At the same time, the distribution of our natural resource benefits is highly skewed. India suffers from the classic problem of the resource curse. The people living in areas rich in forests, minerals, land and water resources have been burdened by the cost of their exploitation but have not benefited proportionately.
The goal of our work on natural resource management is to find a balance between sustainable resource use, prevent over-exploitation through better practices and ensure engagement and security of local communities. We use macroeconomic and scientific data, and ground survey to analyse current trends and make future projections on each of the focus areas. Our policy engagement is strongly rooted in real world challenges. We also believe, documentation of best practices and fostering mutual learning is a crucial strategy to improve understanding among various stakeholders and scale-up strategic solutions.
Mining & District Mineral Foundation
District Mineral Foundation (DMF) is a crucial opportunity for addressing the inequality that has burdened India’s mining areas for decades. With a people-centric governance architecture, DMFs if implemented well, have huge potential to improve the lives and livelihoods of some of the most impoverished communities and strength inclusive governance. Our work focuses on institutionalising DMF implementation in key mining states. We are also working on policies and mechanisms to improve environmental and social practices of the mining sector.
Community Forest Management
Several initiatives from across India show that local communities are successfully managing their forest resources for livelihood and food security, and forest regeneration. However, these efforts have not been scaled-up due to inadequate support to the laws such as the Forest Rights Act. Our work is focused on scaling-up the Community Forest Rights through research and advocacy, as well as promoting sustainable enterprise models from community-managed forests.