Where we work
Located in the western Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh spans 55, 673 sq km, with an altitudinal range of 350-6975m above mean sea level. The topography is predominantly mountainous, with some narrow valleys, deep gorges and mountain passes. A third of the state is characterised by snow, glaciers and cold desert. 27% of the total geographical area has a recorded forest area of 37,033 sq km. Five National Parks, 28 Wildlife Sanctuaries and three Conservation Reserves account for 15%. 90% of the state’s 6.8 million people live in rural areas and are heavily dependent on shared natural resources for sustenance.
What we do
FES partners with Environics Trust and a network of CBOs in 11 districts to assist rural communities secure tenure rights over forests under the provisions of Forest Rights Act, 2006.
"Our mandal has a rota system of five women patrolling the forest daily, and five women watching the market space at night. If a tree is being cut, the women collect a fine of INR 5,000, regardless of the reason for the felling. If a shop stays open beyond 10 PM, we collect a fine of INR 1,500 from the owner. These efforts have protected and conserved the forests and also reduced alcoholism in the village. More importantly, it has made women aware, built their confidence, and empowered them to slowly confront other social issues in the area."
Gomati Devi, Pradhan, Banogi Mahila Mandal
Banogi Village, Kullu Block, Kullu District
Environics Trust with Himalaya Niti Abhiyan (a consortium of CBOs) has worked in Himachal Pradesh since 2006. Their efforts have resulted in community rights claimed under CFR in 2,000 villages, bringing 2,47,195 acres of forestland under secure tenure across varied landscapes. Combining focused community interaction with techno-legal support has enabled communities to protect their rights, and ensure that there is no infringement of their Commons.