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Saving water, fauna and vegetation

Located in Bengaluru city, where the city’s lakes have been in the news for pollution, ATREE’s (Ashoka Trust for Research in the Ecology and the Environment) researchers are actively engaged in evaluating a range of options for sustainable and equitable wastewater management.

ATREE is receiving support from the Embassy to improve its institutional capacity to conduct research on environmental issues, support Ph.D students and improve its infrastructure facilities.

It conducts wide-ranging research on environmental issues as well as takes up policy outreach. ATREE’s researchers are assessing ecosystem responses in the Aghnashini Son and Bedthi river basins in Madhya Pradesh. The issue of pastoral lands of Konars, a herder community, that is shrinking, is researched for linkages between ecosystem services and livelihood. A group of researchers at ATREE has been observing vegetation dynamics in forests for many years to study the survival rates due to environment changes. Research on climate change mitigation is conducted by studying behavioural and institutional bottlenecks for adoption of rooftop solar and LED lighting technologies in urban areas.

The Ambassador visited the ATREE campus in Bengaluru to inaugurate a new building, which was built with support from the Embassy. He interacted with invited speakers and researchers at ATREE and also visited the new state-of-the art water quality lab, ATREE's herbarium with 400 plant species from the Western Ghats and an insect museum that hosts more than 100,000 insect species.

In January 2017, ATREE celebrated 20 years of its work by organising the Conference on Conservation Science and Sustainable Development in Bengaluru. Along with ATREE Governing Board member Ms. Rohini Nilekani and Dr. Kamal Bawa, President of ATREE, he released the book: "Transcending Boundaries: Reflecting on Twenty years of Action and Research at ATREE". He congratulated ATREE on its initiative and research over the past two decades that has led it to be ranked as one of the top environmental think-tanks of the world.  Stressing the need to work on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in a highly populous country like India, he noted India’s role as a key player in climate change mitigation. “The Indian population is growing and developing at a high speed. Seemingly small changes in environmental governance will have huge consequences for millions of people”, he said.

The Ambassador described Norway’s own efforts to transition to a green economy. He called for more collaboration between Norway and India towards a shared goal of mitigating climate change and biodiversity loss.

ATREE is cooperating with University of Oslo, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences and Institute of Transport Economics. The cooperation is mostly through joint research activities conducted by students and faculty.

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