The National Wastelands Development Board (NWDB) was created and NWDB approached the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to evolve an institutional structure to manage common lands so that it meets the basic fuelwood and fodder needs of the rural poor. In 1988 an Apex Cooperative namely the National Tree Growers' Cooperatives Federation (NTGCF) was set up to promote village level Tree Growers' Cooperatives to improve the productivity of revenue wastelands. The Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) helped in scaling up the project by providing financial assistance.
The 90's saw important changes in policy environment enabling a better involvement of local communities in determining the management of the local natural surroundings under the Watershed Development programmes, Joint Forest Management arrangements and the Panchayat Raj Amendment Act (1992). New opportunities to work on different land categories through a variety of village level institutions provided a more enabling environment to address the critical task of ecological restoration in the country and led to the setting up of the Foundation for Ecological Security in 2001. The Foundation is registered under Societies Registration Act XXI, 1860, New Delhi.
The crux of FES' efforts lie in locating forests and other natural resources within the prevailing economic, social and ecological dynamics in rural landscapes and in intertwining principles of conservation and local self governance for the protection of the natural surroundings and improvement in the living conditions of the poor. By working on systemic issues that can bring about a multiplier change, we strive for a future where the local communities determine and move towards desirable land-use that is based on principles of conservation and social justice.