Forest Conservation and Sustainable
Technology in the Western Ghats

The Western Ghats are known for their rich and unique diversity of forest, flora and fauna. There is a great variety of vegetation in the Western Ghats.

Our work in the Western Ghats focused on sustainable forest management and in promoting sustainable technologies for energy efficiency. Here is a brief overview of the projects and programmes implemented over the years:

  1. Sustainable forest management.
    • Scientific research studies on the status and changes in vegetation parameters of selected forest types.
    • Studies for estimation of changes in carbon pool, biomass, woody litter, and soil carbon.
    • Promotion of sustainable technologies for forest conservation and studying energy efficiency of devices such as cook-stoves, water heating systems, and dryers for agro-products.
  2. Scientific research on forest structure and soil carbon.
  3. Skill development for promoting energy efficiency and ensuring biodiversity resources conservation and livelihood enhancement.
    • Skill development in agro-processing units and implementation of the energy-efficient cook-stove programme in the villages.
  4. 'Mapping Monsoon Messengers' – a citizen science programme to assess changes in diversity and distribution of anuran amphibians as a result of changes in temperature and rainfall.

We promote low-cost sustainable technology solutions for energy efficiency in rural areas.

  • Agro-processing units – dryers and domestic cook-stoves.
  • Appropriate and improved sanitation technology with locally available building material.
  • Skill development programme with a self-enabling approach.

Programme Highlight:

  • The projects have assisted in increasing scientific knowledge regarding biomass and carbon stock dynamics in the project sites.
  • The projects have promoted sustainable technologies for forest conservation such as - agro dryers, cook-stoves, bathwater stoves, jaggery making units, biogas units and other local technology solutions in the villages.
  • We have promoted a self-enabling approach for technology transfer amongst local community members for the installation of sustainable technologies.
  • We have installed about 450 cook-stoves (2-pan and 3-pan) in five villages in the Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka and ASTRA fuel-efficient stoves in the homes to improve indoor air quality. Agro-dryers are installed in villages to promote energy efficiency.

"The Centre for Sustainable Technologies has done pioneering work in the field of sanitation in rural areas. We are delighted to work with Earthwatch Institute India to promote these sanitation technologies at the grassroots and also develop skill development initiatives to train community members. The Rainwater Harvesting integrated Rural Sanitation Programme is one such initiative that uses dedicated rainwater supply for sanitation, powered by the solar photovoltaic panels and using low-carbon locally available building material. Looking forward to our continued association with Earthwatch Institute India, who are pioneering innovations in the field of water, sanitation, and hygiene with their niche in citizen science."

Professor Monto Mani, Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science IISc., Bengaluru.

Scientific Research Institution: Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science IISc., Bengaluru.
The scientists and experts who were associated with the projects and programmes, from time to time, over the years:
Professor N. H. Ravindranath, Professor Monto Mani, Mr. H. I. Somashekar, Mr. P.R. Bhat, Dr. Indu K Murthy, Dr. Gururaja K. V and
Dr. Sumanta Bagchi.