Centre for Environment & Social Concerns


a not-for- profit resource centre

inter-disciplinary initiatives in environment & development

  Home ] Work Brief ] [ Activities ] News! ] Resource Persons ] Services ] Documents for download ]

Our current activities include preparing backgrounders on ecology, livelihoods and development, working with grassroots initiatives to integrate biodiversity concerns into local governance, networking of individuals and organizations working for biodiversity conservation with community involvement, supporting the efforts for revitalization of traditional/ non-codified knowledge systems and policy studies centered on gender. CESC is an active member of the Western India Biodiversity Network, consisting of several organizations from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. We are pro-actively associated with the networking of efforts on the Gujarat coastal region for responsible management of coastal resources.

Study on the Sustainability of Village Institutions/ Organizations Promoted by NGOs for Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Livelihoods


NGO’s have promoted Village Level Organizations (VLO) as a key part of their strategy for empowering communities to manage natural resources and improve livelihoods. Institutional sustainability is an issue that has received considerable attention from development thinkers and researchers. However, there has been inadequate research on the sustainability of Village Institutions crafted or promoted in response to development needs by NGO’s, often catalyzed by time-bound project funds. This research has been initiated acknowledging the need to significantly improve the understanding of the subject by analyzing the processes and life cycles of village institutions and organizations promoted by NGO’s. The study will cover about six village where the NGO partners to the study are engaged in development action.


This study is supported by:

  1. Sir Dorabji Tata Trust - SDTT

  2. Aga Khan Rural Support Program ( India ) – AKRSP(I)

  3. Ford Foundation - FF

The following NGOs are partners to this study:

  1. Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), Ahmedabad

  2. Behavioral Science Centre (BSC), St. Xavier's College, Ahmedabad

  3. Development Support Centre (DSC), Ahmedabad

  4. Foundation for Ecological Security ( FES ), Anand

  5. MYRADA, Bangalore, Karnataka

  6. PRADAN, Delhi

  7. Seva Mandir, Udaipur, Rajasthan

Relevant publications: 

1 Working paper on the study - C.P.Geevan (PDF file)
2 Sustainability of Village Institutions under Joint Forest Management - Case Study from South Gujarat, India - C.P.Geevan and Satyasiba Bedamatta (PDF file)
3 Sustainability of Village Institutions - Forestry and Livelihoods: Gram Vikas Mandals in South Gujarat, India (Promoted by AKRSP) - C.P.Geevan and Satyasiba Bedamatta (PDF file) 2007


Please check for the working papers and other documents emerging from this study in the downloads section of this site.

CELL Project - Mandvi, Kutch, Gujarat

CELL - Conservation, Enterprises and Livelihoods – Coastal (CELL) supported by the Ford Foundation (in progress)


The Phase I of the project is progressing well. The project covers 5 coastal villages of Mandvi District in Kutch, Gujarat. Community enterprises have started functioning. Work in progress on wise management and conservation of the fishery resources. - [Status July 2007] [Presentation in PDF format]

The work in Mandvi is spearheaded by the Yusuf Meherally Centre (YMC) with its headquarters at Bombay and a regional office in Munda, Kutch, Gujarat.

Project sites: Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Laccadive Islands and Karnataka

National coordination: Covenant Centre for Development - CCD, Madurai]

Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihood Improvement (Completed)


Partner in the national project on “Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihood Improvement” to study the issues associated with the Wild Ass Sanctuary, Gujarat. This project is in many ways a successor to an earlier and recently concluded project titled ‘India Eco-Development Project’ (IEDP) and seeks to extend the philosophy and practices of IEDP from a PA centric treatment to a landscape level where PA, non PA forests, and other land uses intermingle and get addressed together under a single project that addresses local livelihood improvement issues in the context of Biodiversity Conservation.

Medicinal Plants, Kutch: National Innovation Foundation Project (completed)

A national database on plants and their traditional uses, especially the medicinal values, has been setup at National Innovation Foundation (NIF) as a part of much larger “innovators database”. One of the most important aspects of this database is that it stressed upon getting ‘informed consents’ from the knowledge holders before putting the knowledge into a public domain system like the NIF database. It is important to link the traditional medicinal practices database of Kachchh with NIF database.  As a national level initiative, NIF database has standard formats for data collection and storage. It is, therefore, important for Kachchh database to follow NIF’s formats for easy compatibility. Quality of information is also very important for its efficacy and need to maintain strictly. Also, the information should be adequately backed-up by PICs. Therefore, before linking the Kachchh database with NIF database, addressing the above issues is a precondition. The project, therefore, is aimed at identifying suitable candidates for PIC, obtaining PIC from those who desire to share their knowledge and standardising the information to comply with the requirements of the NIF database.

Western India Biodiversity Network [WIB-Net]

The WIB-Net emerged out of the extensive consultative process undertaken as part of developing the National Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP - process and the final approach - are watersheds in shaping a national strategy and represent a truly democratic effort based on sound scientific and technical inputs. As we see it, the NBSAP epitomizes a wide consensus incorporating all stakeholder views: from the Forest Departments to village communities. And this consensus was arrived at through an unprecedented participatory process where everyone had a fair chance to contribute views. The Western India region covered by the network includes the states of Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The partners in the network recognise that there are may common challenges and that the approach emerging from the NBSAP provides the best possible framework for working for biodiversity conservation. The network would, therefore, strive for the realization of the BSAP plans

Coastal Communities: Livelihoods & Resource Management Concerns  

Protsahan initiated some efforts at engaging the fishing communities in a dialogue to find workable and acceptable solutions to the crisis-ridden fisheries sector. This effort is being widened by enabling the involvement of other marginalized communities living along the coast. This is a part of the commitment to promote community awareness and participation for protecting livelihoods and wise management of resources. Paryavaran Vikas Kendra and the Centre for Environment & Social Concerns are working together with Protsahan to develop a long-term program to promote community-to-community contacts and coordination among coastal communities along the Gujarat coast for securing livelihoods and responsible management of resources. This workshop was organized as a part of this effort. We hope this workshop will help the communities and NGOs to strategies collectively in enhancing the rights of coastal communities to the coastal resources while at the same time exploring livelihood alternatives and work for conserving the coastal environment. 


Search within this site

Questions/ Comments/ Suggestions: Mail to info@cesc-india.org

Last modified: December 08, 2007