205 million acres, a quarter of India’s geographical area, spanning community forests, pastures and water bodies, are classified as Commons.

They are shared resources that serve vital ecological functions, and also meet the critical livelihood needs of more than 350 million of India’s rural poor. India’s Commons face widespread degradation, leading to falling yields, increased cost of cultivation, depleted water tables, shrinking forests, and the unregulated use of pastures.

It is also now acknowledged globally, that the degradation of Commons is a key contributor to poverty, conflict, corruption and limited economic growth.

FES’ core model is built on three interconnected elements, to link the people to Commons, to understand and respect the inter-relationships of various life forms and natural systems. We look to help local communities retain their rights over Commons, to move towards sustainable land-use practices that aid conservation, and create economic opportunities.

FES Core Model

SECURE COMMUNITY LAND RIGHTS

SECURE COMMUNITY
LAND RIGHTS

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RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
                                                AND GOVERNANCE PLANS

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
& GOVERNANCE PLANS

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ACCESS TO RESOURCES
                                                AND FINANCE

ACCESS TO RESOURCES
& FINANCE

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Brown Circles
Blue Circles
Green Circles

Finding ways to replicate natural ecosystems

FES works to regenerate and conserve forests, pastures, and water bodies that have degraded over the years. Interlinkages between Commons, agriculture and livestock production systems are viewed at a landscape level, connecting the larger constituency of farmers and livestock keepers with the conservation of natural resources.

As ecological security is fundamental to economic and social well-being, FES works with rural communities towards:

Maintaining hydrological and nutrient cycles and improving soil health

Conserving indigenous biodiversity

Supporting local land-use choices

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ecological restoration
ecological restoration

Enabling communities to take collective decisions

As forests, pastures and water bodies are shared by human settlements and require inter-village cooperation, FES works with contiguous villages and traditional forms of local self-governance institutions and nests them within Panchayats to gain formal recognition, to create the institutional apparatus for debate and dialogue at a block or landscape level.

We assist rural communities by:

Reviving rules and regulations for the governance of shared natural resources

Helping secure legal rights to access and manage their Commons

Creating a platform where districts and states recognise and address local needs

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local governance
local governance

Creating systems that conserve and sustain

FES believes that better management of forests and pastures is directly linked to increased water, fodder and pollinator availability for farming and livestock production systems. This results in assured crops, diversified incomes, and higher returns.

We promote livelihoods that are ecologically sound, socially just, and economically rewarding, through:

Effective use of public funds

Improved leadership and reduced conflict

Strengthened collective action for cost-effective management of natural resources

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enhancing livelihoods
enhancing livelihoods
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