मैं भी भगत सिंह ( I’m Bhagat Singh)

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Our Vision

Environmental Empathy and Eco-Civilization

Our Mission

Ecosystem Restoration through Familial Forestry

What is Familial Forestry

Familial Forestry: A Holistic Environmental Initiative

Familial Forestry is a concept that integrates trees as integral members of the family, fostering societal engagement in forestry and conservation activities, and contributing to the development of an ecological civilisation. By considering trees as green family members, this approach encourages environmental sensitivity and empowerment, shaping individuals as environmentally connected stakeholders. This advances the consideration of ecosystems as a green quotient of individual and collective consciousness, making families climate-sensitive and proactive by incorporating rituals and festivals with trees into the social structure.

Implementation and Impact in North-Western Rajasthan

In the north-western region of Rajasthan, Familial Forestry has been implemented for 18 years, during which hundreds of thousands of students and villagers have acquired skills in proper plantation,  post-plantation care and the role of native species in land restoration and overall well being of the local ecosystems . This initiative not only enhances climate awareness but also addresses issues of hunger and malnutrition by promoting the plantation of fruit-bearing trees at home. Family trees serve as nesting places for birds and insects, contributing to increased biodiversity.

Complementing Social Forestry Schemes

Familial Forestry complements social forestry schemes by focusing on regaining ecological functioning and improving human welfare across deforested or degraded forest landscapes. Emphasising the importance of diverse native tree species, it contributes to forest landscape restoration, involving communities in mutually beneficial interventions for land restoration and the development of drought resilience. The long-term perspective of Familial Forestry, grounded in a strong attachment to native species and local ecosystems across generations, accelerates the accumulation of land restoration and forest-related knowledge, ensuring well-being and sustainability for local communities through sustainable land management.


Addressing Climate Change and Community Involvement

Acknowledging the pressing issue of increased CO2 levels in the Earth’s atmosphere, Familial Forestry serves as a bottom-up approach to climate action. Directly involving communities, especially the younger generation, it has been successfully replicated in 2 million families across more than 18,000 villages in the arid region of western Rajasthan over the last two decades. This effort has led to the development of 200 institutional forests and the planting of over 4 million saplings in various forms, making Familial Forestry synonymous with environmental activism in the area.

Cultural Integration and Sustainable Practices

To enhance the holistic habitat healing methodology, Familial Forestry actively incorporates rituals and festivals with trees, fostering a cultural connection to nature and promoting sustainable living practices. This approach contributes to the overall well-being of ecosystems, communities, and the environment.

Contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Familial Forestry significantly contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aligning with multiple targets:

SDG 2 – Zero Hunger: By encouraging the plantation of fruit-bearing trees at home, Familial Forestry addresses hunger and malnutrition, enhancing local food production and nutrition.

SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-being: The inclusion of fruits in daily diets improves nutrition and overall health, addressing malnutrition and enhancing well-being.

SDG 4 – Quality Education: Familial Forestry imparts valuable knowledge and skills related to environmental conservation and sustainable practices through frequent village visits and student engagement.

SDG 5 – Gender Equality: By involving women as key stakeholders and champions in forestry activities, Familial Forestry promotes gender equality and empowers women economically and socially.

SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities: Familial Forestry promotes green spaces and urban forestry through the development of Institutional forests and strip plantation , enhancing the liveability of communities and contributing to sustainable urban development.

SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production: The initiative supports responsible consumption through the sustainable use of natural resources and promotes the consumption of locally produced fruits.

SDG 13 – Climate Action: Familial Forestry addresses climate change by involving communities in tree planting, fostering climate resilience, and promoting sustainable practices.

SDG 15 – Life on Land: The core of Familial Forestry is the restoration of degraded land and the promotion of sustainable land use practices, ensuring the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems.

SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals: Familial Forestry fosters community participation and creates partnerships between local communities, educational institutions, and environmental organisations.

Enhancing Land Restoration, Combating Desertification, and Developing Drought Resilience

Familial Forestry plays a crucial role in enhancing land restoration, combating desertification, and developing drought resilience. By restoring degraded lands and promoting sustainable agricultural and forestry practices, the initiative helps mitigate the adverse effects of desertification. The increased vegetation cover and biodiversity improve soil health, water retention, and microclimate conditions, which are vital for drought resilience.

In conclusion, Familial Forestry emerges as a comprehensive approach that not only contributes to environmental conservation but also integrates social, economic, and educational dimensions for sustainable development. By addressing various SDGs, it fosters a sustainable and resilient future for communities and ecosystems alike.

Institutional Forests: Extending Familial Forestry to Community Engagement

The institutional forest concept extends Familial Forestry from individual households to the community level by establishing small and medium-sized forests in educational institutions and on abandoned or degraded public land. This initiative focuses on restoring abandoned and degraded areas by planting and supporting native species, promoting a holistic habitat healing approach through institutional forestation.

These forests aim to reinstate the natural balance of the area, engaging students and the local community in sustainable forest management practices, thus acting as catalysts for societal engagement in environmental conservation.

Landmark Institutional Forests

Our inaugural institutional forest, the ‘Gandhi Institutional Forest,’ was planted in 2013 on our college campus in Bikaner. It spans 6 hectares and hosts 3,000 trees of 100 different varieties, along with various desert grasses and other unique flora and fauna of the Thar Desert.

The largest among our institutional forests is the ‘Dev Jasnath Institutional Forest’ in Dabla Talab, Loonkaransar, Bikaner district, covering 84 hectares. Once a degraded area due to illegal strip mining, this expansive forest has been restored through community participation. It now thrives as a diverse native flora forest, providing a natural habitat for endangered species like spiny-tailed lizards, monitor lizards, gazelles, desert foxes, jackals, rabbits, and various avian fauna.

Successfully replicated in 200 rural schools and on public lands, the institutional forest model encourages community-based forestry practices. It addresses sustainable land use, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and poverty reduction.

Community-Managed Forests

The institutional forest model involves establishing community-managed forests and empowering local communities to actively manage and conserve these areas. This model promotes sustainable land use practices, including agroforestry, reforestation, and soil conservation, enhancing ecological, social, and economic benefits for local communities.

Implemented in the desert region of Rajasthan, the institutional forest model has proven successful in promoting sustainable land use practices, conserving biodiversity, and improving the livelihoods of local communities, leading to the development of climate change resilience.


Key Benefits of Institutional Forests

  1. Sustainable Land Use Practices: Promoting practices like agroforestry, reforestation, and soil conservation to conserve and enhance the health and productivity of forests and land ecosystems.   
  1. Biodiversity Conservation: Contributing to biodiversity conservation by integrating native trees, herbs, and shrubs into land uses.   
  1. Improved Livelihoods: Enhancing the livelihoods of local communities through access to forest products and services, including firewood, non-timber forest products, and ecotourism opportunities.   
  1. Community Participation and Empowerment: Fostering community participation and empowerment by involving local communities in forest management and conservation, instilling a sense of ownership and responsibility for the environment.  
  1. Climate Change Resilience: Increasing resilience to climate change impacts by promoting the conservation and restoration of forests and natural areas, regulating local climates, and improving soil and water quality.   
  1. Improved Governance: Enhancing governance by involving local communities in decision-making processes related to forestry and land use practices, ensuring sustainable practices align with local needs and priorities.

 Contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Institutional forests significantly contribute to several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including:

SDG 2 – Zero Hunger: Promoting the plantation of fruit-bearing trees to enhance local food production and improve nutrition.

SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-being: Improving nutrition and health through the inclusion of fruits in daily diets.

SDG 4 – Quality Education: Providing environmental education and skills related to conservation and sustainable practices.

SDG 5 – Gender Equality: Engaging women in forestry activities, promoting gender equality and empowering them economically and socially.

SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities: Promoting green spaces and urban forestry, enhancing the livability and sustainability of communities.

SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production: Encouraging sustainable use of natural resources and promoting local, environmentally friendly practices.

SDG 13 – Climate Action: Addressing climate change through tree planting and fostering climate resilience.

SDG 15 – Life on Land: Restoring degraded lands and promoting sustainable land use practices to conserve terrestrial ecosystems.

SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals: Fostering community participation and creating partnerships for sustainable development.

Emphasis on Land Restoration and Combating Desertification

Institutional forests play a crucial role in land restoration and combating desertification. By restoring degraded lands and promoting sustainable agricultural and forestry practices, these forests help mitigate the adverse effects of desertification. Increased vegetation cover and biodiversity improve soil health, water retention, and microclimate conditions, which are vital for developing drought resilience.

Conclusion: Institutional forests offer a range of key benefits related to sustainable land use, biodiversity conservation, improved livelihoods, community participation and empowerment, climate change resilience, and improved governance. By following a holistic habitat healing approach, institutional forests contribute significantly to environmental conservation and sustainable development, addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and promoting a resilient and sustainable future for local communities and ecosystems.


Public Nursery

Public Nurseries: A Pillar of Familial Forestry

Public nurseries are an indispensable part of the Familial Forestry concept, providing quality saplings free of cost to anyone interested in planting trees. We develop small, medium, and large-sized public nurseries based on the availability of resources and the scope for plantation. These nurseries are established both seasonally and permanently. Our permanent nurseries ensure a year-round supply of saplings. The largest of our public nurseries has the capacity to house 75,000 saplings at a time.

Agroforestry: Integrating Trees into Agriculture

While it is often assumed that plantations thrive, newly planted saplings face numerous threats, including worsening droughts, fires, expansion of farming and settlements, and damage from termites, straw, and domesticated animals. Agroforestry minimises such losses because it involves consistent supervision and care by landowners.

When Familial Forestry refers to trees as green members, it does not imply they must be within household boundaries only. Trees can be planted by roadsides, on public land, or on agricultural farms because this relationship is not confined to a specific location. We motivate farmers to consider trees as green guardians of their land and crops, as it is the most cost-effective way to improve local ecosystems.

Benefits of Agroforestry

Agroforestry provides numerous benefits:

1. Reduces Pressure on Forests: By integrating trees into agricultural lands, agroforestry lessens the reliance on natural forests.

2. Nutrient Recycling: Deep-rooted trees efficiently recycle nutrients, enhancing soil fertility.

3. Decreases Surface Run-off and Soil Erosion: Trees reduce surface run-off and soil erosion, promoting soil conservation.

4. Improves Microclimate: Trees lower soil surface temperature and reduce the evaporation of soil moisture through mulching and shading, improving the microclimate.

5. Enhances Soil Structure: The constant addition of organic matter from decomposed litter improves soil structure.

Contributions to Agro-biodiversity and Rural Livelihoods

Agroforestry is a sustainable resource for obtaining fodder, timber, and fruits. This contribution strengthens sustainable agriculture, increasing income and improving rural living in many aspects. Our public nurseries provide soil-boosting native species like Prosopis cineraria free of cost to farmers. Our KHET-KHET KHEJARI (Prosopis cineraria to every Agri farm) drive has developed an understanding of the importance of native species in agroforestry practices.

By fostering a close relationship between farmers and trees, agroforestry contributes to the sustainability and resilience of agricultural systems, enhancing both productivity and environmental health. This approach also enriches agro-biodiversity, supporting a variety of species that contribute to the overall health of the ecosystem.

Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture

The integration of native species like Prosopis cineraria not only boosts soil health but also provides multiple resources for farmers. Agroforestry practices support sustainable agriculture by:

Providing Fodder, Timber, and Fruits: These resources are crucial for the livelihood of rural communities, offering diverse income sources.
Strengthening Rural Economies: Increased income from diversified agricultural practices improves living standards and economic stability in rural areas.

In conclusion, agroforestry is an integral part of Familial Forestry, enhancing sustainable agriculture, boosting rural economies, and contributing to agro-biodiversity. This holistic approach ensures environmental sustainability and improved livelihoods for farming communities.

Holistic Habitat Healing

Introduction: Habitat restoration is a critical endeavor in our quest to conserve biodiversity and protect our planet’s natural resources. While the concept of habitat restoration is well-established, my addition to this concept with a new term is #HolisticHabitatHealing, which represents a paradigm shift in how we approach habitat restoration, emphasizing a comprehensive and all-encompassing approach that considers various dimensions of ecosystem health, community engagement, and the incorporation of Familial Forestry.
Comprehensive Approach: The term “Holistic” is at the heart of this approach. It implies that habitat restoration is not merely about fixing specific issues or planting a few trees. Instead, it encompasses a broader perspective, addressing the entire habitat as a cohesive unit. It recognizes that ecosystems are intricate webs of life where each component plays a vital role. To heal a habitat comprehensively, one must consider how all these pieces fit together.
Ecosystem Health: “Habitat Healing” goes beyond the idea of restoration; it implies nurturing the overall health and functionality of an ecosystem. It recognizes that the components of an ecosystem are interconnected, and their well-being is interdependent. Therefore, the goal is not only to restore a specific area but to improve the overall health of the ecosystem, taking into account all niches, including aspects like soil quality, water availability, the well-being of both flora and fauna, and community connections.
Incorporating Tradition and #FamilialForestry: Holistic Habitat Healing often integrates traditional practices and knowledge into the restoration process. Indigenous communities, for example, have long-held wisdom about how to interact harmoniously with their natural surroundings. By incorporating these traditions, habitat restoration can become culturally sensitive and sustainable. Additionally, Familial Forestry, a concept that involves individuals and families actively participating in tree planting and forest management, plays a pivotal role in the holistic approach. It ensures that communities are directly engaged in nurturing their environment, fostering a deeper connection between people and nature.
Community Engagement: Engaging the local community is a fundamental aspect of Holistic Habitat Healing. It recognizes that for a restoration project to succeed, the community must be actively involved. This engagement fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility for the habitat’s well-being. It encourages people to become stewards of their environment and promotes a deeper connection to nature.
Minimal Human Intervention: While not explicitly stated, the term implies minimal human intervention. “Healing” suggests a process that allows natural systems to recover and regenerate with minimal disruption. Instead of imposing our will on the environment, we become facilitators of nature’s ability to heal itself.
Protection and Preservation: Finally, “Holistic Habitat Healing” underscores the importance of protection and preservation. It’s not just about fixing what’s broken; it’s about ensuring that the habitat remains healthy and resilient. It’s about safeguarding the natural world for future generations.
Conclusion: “Holistic Habitat Healing” (HHH) is more than just a catchy phrase; it represents a shift in our thinking about habitat restoration. It encourages us to view ecosystems as interconnected wholes, to engage with local communities, and to incorporate traditional wisdom and Familial Forestry practices. Ultimately, it offers a promising path toward a future where our natural world thrives, and we coexist harmoniously with the environment. The attached photos of our restoration efforts on an 84 -hectare degraded and abandoned public land reflect the effectiveness of HHH.

UN’s Land For Life award to Familial Forestry

The land for life award is world’s highest award for land conservation and restoration. It’s given biennial by United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, an United Nations arm that works on land restoration and conservation. The Land for Life Award is designed to reward impactful holistic approaches and practices that contribute to land restoration and conservation through exemplary and innovative efforts, particularly highlighting the crucial interconnection between humanity and nature. The theme of 2021 award was “Healthy Land, Healthy Lives”.
An eight-member international jury declared Familial Forestry from Rajasthan, India, winner of this year’s Land for Life Award because of its innovative land restoration and conservation method that promotes the well-being of communities and improves their relationship with nature. The jury was impressed by Familial Forestry’s achievements and how it relates a tree to the family, treating it as a green member of the family.

The UNCCD is one of the three Rio Conventions—along with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The negotiation of the UNCCD was called for in Agenda 21, the program of action adopted at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, or Earth Summit).
The UNCCD was adopted in Paris, France on 17 June 1994, entered into force on 26 December 1996. It is the only internationally legally binding framework set up to address the problem of desertification. It has 197 parties, making it near-universal in reach.

What UNCCD wrote about Familial Forestry
This year’s Land for Life Award goes to Familial Forestry of Rajasthan, India, a unique concept of Shyam Sunder Jyani, Associate Professor for Sociology at in Rajasthan that relates a tree with a family, making it a green “family member.”
Placing a family at the cornerstone of society, concept ensures the success of any social campaign.
Familial Forestry means transferring the care of the tree and environment in the family so that a tree becomes a part of the family’s consciousness. More than a million families from more than 15,000 villages of desert-prone northwest Rajasthan in over 2.5 million saplings have been planted in the past 15 years, with the active participation of students and desert dwellers.

About the Award
Launched at the UNCCD COP (Conference of Parties) 10 in 2011, the “Land for Life Award” is considered as the world’s highest reward regarding land conservation and restoration.
This year’s (2021) theme for the award was “Healthy Land, Healthy Lives”.
To demonstrate that LDN is necessary and achievable, the Land for Life Programme engages in awareness raising and knowledge support. Every two years, the programme presents the Land for Life Award which aims to provide global recognition to individuals and organizations whose work and initiatives have made a significant contribution to sustainable development through sustainable land management (SLM).
Familial Forestry Action-UNCCD

Founder's Message

हरित प्रणाम (Green Greetings ),

My life’s singular mission is to foster environmental empathy and contribute to an eco-civilization. The concept of Familial Forestry, meticulously developed in 2006 after three years of dedicated conceptualization from 2003, embodies this overarching goal. Beyond advocating, I actively work as an activist on the ground, ensuring wider societal engagement with an empathetic approach.

This initiative transcends trees, focusing on Holistic Habitat Healing, considering local grasses, herbs, shrubs, and bushes as equally vital. By associating rituals and festivals with planting and conservation activities, promoting millets, discouraging single-use plastic, restoring community lands, and championing agroforestry and sustainable living, we aim for a holistic impact.

Integrating culture with nature, we actively work to motivate women for their optimum participation in familial forestry interventions, making it an inclusive green initiative. Additionally, we focus on educating students and desert dwellers about the local nuances of climate change and promoting native flora.

This comprehensive approach propels us towards widespread green socialization, advancing us closer to realizing an Eco-Civilization. I express heartfelt gratitude to all green-minded individuals contributing with their minds, hands, and hearts to this endeavor.

ShyamSunder Jyani
Associate Professor of Sociology & Founder Familial Forestry

ShyamSunder Jyani
UN's Land For Life Award laureate,
Associate Professor of Sociology
Govt. Dungar Collage, Bikaner, Rajasthan