Spread across diverse ecological and social geographies, FES works towards conservation of nature and natural resources through collective action of local communities. The crux of FES’ efforts lie in locating forests and other natural resources within the prevailing economic, social and ecological dynamics in rural landscapes. Globally, FES hopes to see an increasing influence on two fundamental issues in governing shared natural resources – a ‘socio-ecological systems’ approach and a ‘Commons paradigm’, which together could have far-reaching impact on world views on ‘development’.
In India, FES has played a pioneering role in furthering the concept of Commons as an effective instrument of local governance, as economic assets for the poor and for the viability of adjoining farmlands. It has also highlighted that by strengthening the institutional dimension, the collective action spins off from effectively managing natural resources to other spheres of village life such as education, health and access to economic opportunities.
The three fundamental dimensions or cornerstones of FES are: