Forest & Biodiversity

While, globally, it is the loss of forests that is a major issue, in India it is forest degradation that remains the biggest challenge. Our work focuses on promoting sustainable forest management, providing practical solutions towards generating finance through carbon trading from forests, and supporting the livelihood of forest dependent communities. We also work towards engaging communities for biodiversity conservation and mitigation of human-wildlife conflict through policy and scientific measures.



  • forest wood


    India's forests and biodiversity can rescue migrants returning home in distress

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  • village-community

    Policy Brief

    Meeting the challenges of human-wildlife conflict reconciliation in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

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  • nagaland hunter


    Biodiversity, Pandemics, and the Web of Life

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  • Opinion

    To Help Conserve Precious Biodiversity, India Needs to Empower its Forest-dwelling Population

    21st May 2020 | News18

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  • Social Impact Assessment


    To maintain sustainability, gram sabhas have to be empowered

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Biodiversity, Pandemics, and the Web of Life

TERI Web Desk

India can restore biodiversity in urban and rural areas by creating green corridors in cities and rejuvenating water bodies in rural areas.

India's forests and biodiversity can rescue migrants returning home in distress

TERI Web Desk

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as millions of migrants head home, without any promise of livelihood, India's forestry and biodiversity resources can offer a ray of hope. There are solutions and mechanisms in place, but they need to be implemented with conviction. Dr. JV Sharma, Director, Land Resources Division, TERI, explains.

Bringing Back Tigers to Mukundara

The big cat is India's pride but its dwindling population is a serious concern today. In this piece, the author writes about his observations on the behavioural ecology of tigers in the Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) — Rajasthan's recently established tiger reserve and gives suggestions for the successful management of the reserve.

The role of business in restoring India's degraded land

TERI Web Desk

Degraded land is an underperforming asset and poses significant risks to a wide spectrum of industries. There are, however, opportunities and benefits for businesses by adopting sustainable land management (SLM) in their value chains.

Special drive for tree plantations in Uttar Pradesh faces several challenges

Dr Jitendra Vir Sharma

In order to provide state level support to India's commitment to achieve additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2030 (two thirds potential of this target is with agroforestry), the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) has taken the initiative to plant 22 crore saplings in July 2019.

An unexpected raid: A tale of communities and conservation from Nagaland

Mr Yatish A Lele

"Rules are rules; we shall definitely fine the offenders. The village council has set the rules and we all need to obey the same.


Webinar on 'Conservation of Medicinal Plants, Enhancing Nutrition and Developing Immunity against Diseases'

June 4, 2020
to June 4, 2020

TERI is organizing a webinar on 'Conservation of medicinal plants, enhancing nutrition and developing immunity against diseases' to be held on 4th June 2020 at 11:30 AM - 01:00 PM IST.

Workshop on Livestock & Environmental Issues- Possible Research Collaboration between TERI - ICAR

May 3, 2016
to May 3, 2016

TERI and The Indian Council of Agricultural Research organised a joint workshop on the subject of 'Livestock and Environmental Issues' on May 3, 2016 at the TERI office in New Delhi to discuss their respective focus areas for formulating a possible research agenda to take up collaborative research projects. The TERI team comprised of Mr Arvind Kaushal and Dr Vibha Dhawan, Distinguished Fellows, Dr Nutan Kaushik, Senior Fellow and Area Convenor, Dr Raj Kishor Kapardar, Associate Fellow and Mr Mihir Mathur, Associate Fellow.


To Help Conserve Precious Biodiversity, India Needs to Empower its Forest-dwelling Population

May 21, 2020
| Dr Yogesh Gokhale
| New18

The value chain of trade of biological resources and their derivatives like medicinal plants, extracts of medicinal plants, fishes, processed food and pharma industry, are responsible for creating jobs for probably another 30% population of the country.

How can India overcome policy and institutional gaps in forest management

April 29, 2020
| Dr Jitendra Vir Sharma
| DownToEarth

The objectives of forest management defined informally by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change are growing and using more wood, drawing linkages between forests and water conservation, and improving the livelihoods of Forest Dependent Communities. These are the need of the hour, considering the urgency for climate change mitigation, combating land degradation and biodiversity conservation.

Gurugram: Leopard study, animal census await funds as conflict escalates

February 16, 2020 |
February 16, 2020
Hindustan Times

A statewide animal census and an ecological study of leopards and hyenas, in Gurugram and adjoining districts, have been gathering dust for one and over two years, respectively, as the state government is yet to allocate funds. Experts and environmentalists said a targeted ecological study on leopards was more important than a census count, given the rising number of wild animal deaths in Gurugram and Faridabad. According to Dr Pia Sethi, of the Centre for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at TERI, a targeted leopard study is the need of the hour.

Rights of forest dwellers: Recent SC verdict exacerbates injustice done

March 13, 2019
| Dr Jitendra Vir Sharma
| Financial Express

The National Forest Policy (1988) embodies the social, economic and ecological elements of sustainable forest management. Playing a pivotal role in the policy, the social element of the policy was implemented via notifications in 1990. These notifications address regularisation of eligible encroachments, and the involvement of forest-dependent communities for management, conservation and protection of forest resources, through the institution of Joint Forest Management.

Minor Forest Produce will bring support to forest communities

February 24, 2019
| Dr Yogesh Gokhale
| EasteMojo

Sustaining over 30 crores of forest dwelling population in India is a challenge. The strategy to address this challenge has to take into account the potential of those forest dwelling communities and the immediately available resources for livelihood. Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is one such opportunity which can turn around the prospects of 10 crore MFP collectors and would also be able to generate employment opportunities nationwide. But fixation of MSP has been done with limited supporting information.

Conflict on rise as animal space shrinks

November 6, 2018 |
November 6, 2018
Hindustan Times
According to data from the Union environment ministry, more than 1,608 humans were killed in human-wildlife conflict cases involving tigers, leopards, bears and elephants between 2013 and 2017. Increasing habitat loss and fragmentation of corridors animals have used for centuries are certain to cause a spurt in cases, making it vital to develop forest fringes to give animals space to survive, experts say.


Meeting the challenges of human-wildlife conflict reconciliation in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

February 6, 2020

Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) leads to the bearing of direct as well as indirect economic costs of conflict by the communities. Such losses can seriously dent the incomes of concerned community members and result in increased antagonism towards conservation in general.

Minimum Support Price of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) and Its Sustainable Harvest: A Social Safety Measure for MFP Collectors in India

February 15, 2018

Forests in India are treated primarily as social and environmental resource, and only secondarily, as commercial resource. More than 300 million people derive full or partial livelihood and sustenance need from forests. Many a times, communities are compelled to harvest forest produce unsustainably due to lack of adequate finance to meet their day to day life supporting needs. With such large population dependent on forest resources, the minor forest produce (MFP) sector is India’s largest unorganized sector.

Persistent organic pollutants in Indian environment: a wake-up call for concerted action

January 11, 2018

India has a comprehensive apparatus of environmental laws. However, the lack of an integrated approach to the regulation of chemicals, poor management of pollution, and the fundamentally retrospective vision have resulted in ineffective implementation of the laws as demonstrated by the example of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the environment.


Carbon sequestration potential and biodiversity assessment

We undertake study for companies to estimate the carbon sink and other co-benefits including the biodiversity conservation from the plantation activities carried out in and around the companies premises.

Capacity building for management of natural resources

We undertake work on various institutional issues relating to participatory forest management, and have major interests in the study of forest-based livelihoods and benefit-sharing at the community level.


Area Convenor, Centre for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services
Area Convenor, Centre for Forest Mgmt. & Governance
Director, Land Resources