Registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI 1860, the Foundation for Ecological Security was set up in 2001 to reinforce the massive and critical task of ecological restoration in the country. The Foundation strives for a future that is based on a holistic understanding of the principles that govern the interrelationships of various life forms and natural systems. The essence of these efforts lies in intertwining principles of nature conservation and local self-governance in order to accelerate ecological restoration, as well as improve the living conditions of the poor.
In 1985, the Prime Minister of India, in an address to the Nation, acknowledged and made a public statement, on a matter of grave concern. Over a third of the nation's land, he said, was degraded and laid bare, and our ecological security, indeed the survival of the people of India, inextricably linked with this degraded forest base. He said that the restoration of the degraded lands of this magnitude could clearly be set in motion only if it were put into the hands of the people.
The National Wastelands Development Board (NWDB) was created and NWDB approached the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to evolve an institutional structure to manage common lands so that it meets the basic fuelwood and fodder needs of the rural poor. In 1988 an Apex Cooperative namely the National Tree Growers’ Cooperatives Federation (NTGCF) was set up to promote village level Tree Growers’ Cooperatives to improve the productivity of revenue wastelands. The Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) helped in scaling up the project by providing financial assistance.
The 90’s saw important changes in policy environment enabling a better involvement of local communities in determining the management of the local natural surroundings under the Watershed Development programmes, Joint Forest Management arrangements and the Panchayat Raj Amendment Act (1992). New opportunities to work on different land categories through a variety of village level institutions provided a more enabling environment to address the critical task of ecological restoration in the country and led to the setting up of the Foundation for Ecological Security in 2001. The Foundation is registered under Societies Registration Act XXI, 1860, New Delhi.