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VASUNDHARA - Democratising Natural Resources Governance


Vasundhara is an Action Research & Policy Advocacy Organisation working on Natural Resources Governance, Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods. Vasundhara was founded in 1991 and got registered in 1992, as a society under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860. We began with a focus to support and strengthen self-initiated community forestry groups – conserving and managing community forests in the state of Odisha.

Our constant efforts have been towards highlighting the critical role that forests play in sustaining rural livelihoods. Our focus has been to facilitate the reflection of Livelihood Interests of forest dependent communities – especially women – in government policies and also to create an environment in which the primary owners and users of forests are economically and politically empowered to have exclusive control over their lives and livelihoods.

Over the years, our work with communities has expanded to have greater focus on Rights of Tribal and other Forest Dependent Communities on Community Forest Rights as envisaged under “The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006” – usually referred to as the ‘Forest Rights Act’. We have also focused on assessing the impact of community conservation initiatives on mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Access and Control of women over land, forests, other natural resources and livelihoods based on them, is at the centre of all our interventions. Rights of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups to their Natural Resource Habitats and to their ancestral land is another core focus of our work.


Sustainable development, with an emphasis on the empowerment of rural poor, social justice and equity.

Core Values
Sustainable Livelihoods
Democratisation of Natural Resources Governance
Social Justice & Equity
Inclusion of Voices of the Poor
Political Involvement of the Marginalised
Women’s Rights at the centre of all our work
We see our role as a process facilitator and catalyst in developing a supportive and enabling environment for Community Based Natural Resources Governance. Equally important is our role in building local capacities to strive for changes in the direction of sustainability and democratisation of natural resources governance and socially just and ecologically sustainable development.


News and Events

Centre’s new guidelines on compensatory afforestation ignore communities’ concerns

Community forests, common lands threatened by new plantation guidelines

Compensatory afforestation violating Forest (Conservation) Act

In 10 states, compensatory afforestation violating forest rights and conservation laws

States violate compensatory afforestation guidelines

Tribal Women lose food basket to commercial timber species: Study

It's a steal

Activists demand repeal of India tree-planting law hurting forest dwellers

Press Release from the National Consultation on Compensatory Afforestation and Rights of Forest-Dwelling Communities

Banabarata, Issue 78, September 2017

Six Villages in Odisha can now sell Tendu Leaves

Odisha allows Gram Sabhas to Collect and Trade in Tendu Leaf, but with Riders

CSD displeased over poor implementation of MSP for Minor Forest Produce in Odisha

1.5 Million Tribals in Odisha hit by 18% GST on Sal Leaf

The humble Soap Nut helps Tribal Women turn the tide

Poverty-hit Women Stitch Siali Leaf Plates, Earn Handsomely

Silence on MSP for Minor Forest Produce

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Democracy, Equity, Social Justice and Ethical Development

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