Partner: Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD)

August 2019 - ongoing

As countries race to meet their commitments to protect at least 10% of the world's ocean by 2020, it is becoming increasingly clear that just area-based management is insufficient. Addressing threats to our imperilled marine and coastal ecosystems requires collective vision, action and commitment. Celebrating 150 years of the Tata Group, Tata Chemicals Pvt. Ltd., through its social arm, TCSRD, is creating C-SCAPES (Centre for Sustainable Action & Protection of Ecosystems of the Seas) for the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources in India. As part of this, EcoNiche is exploring and collaboratively mapping current and future needs with partners along the Indian coastline. Our efforts at building sustainable coastal stakeholder networks are revealing alternate pathways for better governance and equitable use of ocean resources, towards strengthening the resilience of biodiversity, people and livelihoods.



Partner: terre de hommes (tdh) - India programme

August 2020 - ongoing

The Sundarbans is the largest continuous extent of mangroves in the world. The low-lying delta is extremely vulnerable to disasters including storms and flooding events. Lives and land are threatened by erosion, sea-level rise and deforestation. Warmer sea-surface temperatures are making rainfall patterns more complex and erratic, causing problems for agriculture, the dominant source of livelihoods. Crop yields have been declining because of rising soil salinity, over the decades. Coupled with this is the dramatically declining fish catch - thought to be exacerbated by climate change. As the surface water temperatures change, some species, like the Indian mackerel, are moving to deeper waters, making them harder to catch. All of this is prompting a change in human migration patterns, as people are forced to look elsewhere for work. EcoNiche is supporting tdh in studying local coastal resilience and coping capacities, to develop community-based strategies to secure the future of the Sundarbans, her biodiversity and people. Our work integrates long-term interventions for climate adaptation and resilience-building, with short term actions to secure livelihoods, access to food, and clean water & energy. 

Healthy corals in Palk Bay.JPG


Partner: Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute (SDMRI)

July - December 2019

The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park was established in 1986, with the express purpose of protecting the 21 coral islands off the coast of Tamil Nadu. Over the last 15 years, SDMRI has been monitoring the heat of the corals (and dependent species) in the region, in partnership with the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. EcoNiche supported them in assessing the data to map the impacts of various threats, and the results of conservation efforts, on ecosystem health. In designing an easy to digest coffee table book, we communicated the results of decision-makers and the public, to advise management and conservation actions in the region   


Partners: Jolchhobi

October - November 2019

In the last decade, Arunachal Pradesh has witnessed a phenomenal approval rate for hydroelectric projects. One such, the Dibang Multipurpose Project, is touted to be India's largest dam. It has resonance with both, promise and anxiety. Located in the extremely biodiverse Dibang Valley, it is the traditional homeland of the Idu Mishmi peoples. Their relationship with wildlife and the riverine ecosystem is one of respect and understanding, but stands threatened by changing externalities. As part of a scoping study, we conducted practical mapping exercises with decision makers, community leaders and youth, 

across the Dibang Valley, to evaluate perceived impacts of the dam (throughout its lifecycle), to advise management, mitigation and adaptation interventions



Partner: CircleWallas

January - July 2019

Although India has brought into effect a ban on single-use plastics, it still remains to be seen how discarded plastics can be removed from the environment, and repurposed. Based on participatory analyses and literature reviews, we presented how the principles of circular economy are being embodied in existing viable businesses models across India. The case studies demonstrate revolutionary change, through the transformation of something that is readily discarded (such as plastic bottles and fishing nets) into something of utilitarian value (such as houses). They highlight how social, environmental and economic value is being created across India by embracing resource efficiency and circularity. The project was funded by the EU (European Union), implemented by the Goa Government, GIZ and TERI (the Energy Resource Institute), with local partners CircleWallas.


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