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.
FES presently works with 5,900 village institutions in 31 districts across eight states, and assists the village communities in protecting more than 637,000 hectares of common lands including revenue wastelands, degraded forest lands and Panchayat grazing lands (Charagah lands). We support Panchayats and their subcommittees, Village Forest Committees, Gramya Jungle Committees, Water Users Associations and Watershed Committees in order to improve the governance of natural resources. Regardless of the form of the institution, we strive for universal membership and an equal access of women and poor in decision making.