Westghats India

Community-based ecological restoration of degraded forests in the Western Ghats in India



The Western Ghats in India are a forested mountain range that is classified as a global biodiversity hotspot due to its extraordinary biodiversity. The forest has inestimable value as a water reservoir, regulates large-scale climate, and provides a variety of ecosystem services upon which the livelihoods of local inhabitants are based. However, due to an increase in population pressure and changes in land use, the forest ecosystem has come under severe pressure in recent decades.


Indigenous peoples are particularly vulnerable due to their dependence on the use of forest resources and are severely affected by the negative consequences of land use change. These impacts are exacerbated by global climate change. In addition, deforestation also has negative consequences for the water supply of the megacities of Mumbai and Pune, where the already existing water shortage is likely to worsen dramatically in the future.

 Wilo Foundation
 Lata und Tara mit den Setzlingen 
aus ihrer Baumschule

Project objectives

The program contributes to the restoration and conservation of the biodiverse forests of the northern Western Ghats as a carbon sink, water reservoir, and source of biodiversity, as well as a livelihood for local scheduled tribes (SDG 13 u. 15).


Project measures

  1. Construction of 4 local tree nurseries and operation by trained self-help groups
  2. Formation of a processing cooperative for profitable marketing of various non-timber forest products and production of tree seedlings
  3. Establishment of a tribal center as a meeting center and training site where traditional resource use and the ecological importance of the forest are taught
  4. Creation of an action plan for sustainable resource use and documentation of the biodiversity and carbon storage potential of the afforestation areas




 Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)
 Wilo Foundation


Project Partners

Shashwat Trust is an Indian NGO and has been working in the state of Maharashtra since its inception in the area of Bimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary on issues of improving livelihoods (income generation, education, drinking water) and strengthening land use rights of scheduled tribes.

TERRE Policy Centre is an Indian NGO based in Pune with a mission to provide credible information, clear answers and innovative solutions to global environmental problems such as climate change, ozone layer protection, toxic chemicals and biodiversity. Terre has been working in the field of conservation in western India for 11 years and has over 40 projects focusing on environmental education and forest reforestation.

Project Partners

 Shashwat Trust



 Terre Policy Centre



Thies Geertz & Katharina Gehrig

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Radolfzell

Tel.: +49 7732 9995 83

E-Mail: geertz@globalnature.org

E-Mail: gehrig@globalnature.org 


Project Period:


Project Country: 


Project Partners:






1 July 2022 - 30 April 2025



Terre Policy Centre, Shashwat Trust

German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)


Foundation Ursula Merz, Wilo Foundation, EvoBus



Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The project is intended to make a concrete contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

 Ziel 1: Armut in jeder Form und überall beenden
 Ziel 8: Dauerhaftes, inklusives und nachhaltiges Wirtschaftswachstum, produktive Vollbeschäftigung und menschenwürdige Arbeit für alle fördern
 Ziel 17: Umsetzungsmittel stärken und die globale Partnerschaft für nachhaltige Entwicklung wiederbeleben