The Western Ghats in India is one of the world‘s biodiversity hotspots, with 58 Protected Areas covering 9.06% of the landscape. However, these are isolated islands embedded in a human-dominated landscape. Currently, some of the highest biodiversity in the Western Ghats exists outside protected areas in regions supporting some of the highest human densities globally.
Eco-restoration is as much about information and outreach as it is about doing hands-on-conservation work. Keystone has put a lot of emphasis on teaching and empowering locals to be knowledgeable about their natural surroundings and how to keep the environment at its best. The education activities are carried out in the villages through village elders, in schools and at the field centres of Keystone. Children learn through observation and experience and develop their capacities and intelligence through such learning. Some of the activities include tree planting, information on medicinal plants, bees, culture, agricultural practices and wild foods.