Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment

Engaging at the grassroots level to implement environmental and sustainability interventions


The proposed research will study whether decentralised forest governance, in particular the Community Forest Resources provision of the Forest Rights Act, 2006, will lead to livelihood enhancement, community empowerment and forest conservation. Further, it will study what factors enable or prevent these outcomes. The study will take place in 3 districts of Eastern Maharashtra.


Dr Sharachchandra Lele

Sharachchandra Lele (aka Sharad Lele) has a broad interest in resource and environmental issues, which began while he was doing his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering in IIT Bombay. He moved to the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, where he completed an M.S. in Systems Science in 1987, working on the optimal sizing of hydropower projects incorporating the energy and economic costs of land submergence. He went on to the University of California, Berkeley, where he completed a Ph.D. in Energy & Resources in 1993 on the definition, measurement and causal analysis of sustainability in forest use in a part of the Western Ghats forests. He then spent a year at the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, Oakland, as a Senior Research Associate and a year at Harvard University as a Bullard Fellow for Forest Research, before returning to Bangalore to work in collaboration with the Institute for Social & Economic Change, and eventually to being involved in the founding of CISED in 2001. He was Coordinator of CISED for 8 years, and following CISED’s merger with ATREE, he is now with ATREE.


Property Rights
Forest Rights Act
Research Innovation X

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