Natural Resource Management
Apiculture – Honey hunting and Beekeeping – exploring the role and linkage of honeybees and traditional communities in rural development and culture. Understanding the role of bees as biodiversity indicators and pollination agents of wild and cultivated plants.
Biodiversity – NTFPs, Conservation & Community – ecological monitoring of NTFPs, harvesting systems and technology, trade and value addition aspects, information and documentation of NTFPs collected and the role of forest communities in conservation.
Water Resources– study communities & water management systems in hill areas and their livelihood systems. Implement small drinking water projects for indigenous communities. Research on issues of access, control, use, up-land and low-land water sharing mechanisms and advocate changes in hill water policies.
Land Resources – revive traditional agriculture systems with indigenous communities which have a direct contribution to food security and improvement of household nutrition. Implement soil and moisture conservation measures; establish seed banks of threatened hill food species; understand the present trend of growing cash crops against food crops and accordingly design and implement interventions.
Local Marketing – promote local trade and marketing in local / rural areas with indigenous groups and establish a chain of Green Shops in urban areas. Diversify food, craft and artisan products for larger benefits to primary collectors and producers and build their stake in the enterprise.
Certification– initiate organic certification for small farmers to retain the biodiversity in small homestead farms and arrest drastic land use change. Contribute to the knowledge of forest – certification for encompassing biodiversity and cultural practices which go beyond non-chemical presence.
Value Addition – add value and generate income at the village level through products brought out from projects and produced & gathered traditionally in farms and forests.
Institutional Development & Local Governance
Study the traditional organizations amongst indigenous hill communities. Initiate through a participatory process, the establishment of village institutions which will manage, handle and spin-off future activities at the following levels:
Producer Groups – village production units value-adding natural resources through training and enterprise development.
Farmer Groups – forest communities that traditionally collect NTFPs and are diversifying into land based activities of high value spices, and food crops.
Traditional indigenous institutions – cultural activities or gathering territories, ancestral domains which bind forest communities together. Understand both the historical aspects and the present context and trends to arrive at contemporary, relevant forward-looking institutional models.