Sacred groves are an ancient tradition in India in which a part of the forest is offered to the local deities and protected from all human intervention. This kind of social fencing has been successful in conserving innumerable forest patches in India in pristine condition. In this presentation, Nrupaja Bhide highlights the role of local communities in conservation and the influence that informal institutions have in policy making.
The topic is about sacred groves in India,about how these community-protected forests have thrived for so many years and how such conservation measures can be imitated in other places.
Nrupaja chose this topic because she has been visiting a sacred grove near her city since childhood and have seen the toll that fading religious beliefs and the increasing pressure of development have taken on this beautiful forest. It is imperative that more and more people understand the important role that culture plays in determining how sustainable a community is, and to protect such practices in this fast changing world.
She would like to showcase these rare treasures that can be found in India but also highlight the importance of individual and community level action, especially for conservation, and also to help us tackle other issues related to climate change.