Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF)
Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) has been involved in participatory biodiversity conservation in the Western Ghats hotspot since 1996. The organisation has also worked in Eastern Himalaya hotspot between 1994-2000. AERF has always made an effort to build initiatives based on indigenous knowledge associated with natural resource management and traditional practices of conservation. AERF understands that traditional knowledge is a critical support mechanism in sustainable livelihoods among marginalised communities. Through AERF's flagship program - Sacred groves conservation - the organisation generates strong evidence for diverse methods used by communities for maintaining an healthy balance between conservation and sustainable livelihoods.
a) Reviving socio-ecological landscapes for biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation- North Western Ghats: AERF isworking with local communities to find out ways and means to ensure long term ecological, financial and social sustainability of sacred groves and eco-agricultural landscapes in the North Western Ghats.
b) In harmony with nature - Advancing sustainability of Satoyama Landscapes in the Sahyadri-Konkan corridor: AERF is using innovative mechanisms for scaling up the incentive based conservation approach and promote green entrepreneurship in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot.
c) Scaling up decentralised bio-diesel resource centers for improving energy access and reducing poverty in Maharashtra: AERF is promoting use of native oilseed species in bio-fuel production at local level which in turn is leading to generation of sustainable income for the tribal communities and creating an environmentally sustainable energy alternative.