PEW Award to Professor Madhav Gadgil for the year 1993


Prof. Madhav Gadgil is at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science and Chairman, Biodiversity Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India. His research focuses on the ecology of Western Ghats, a mountain range in South India, now recognized as one of the world's biodiversity hot spots. He is particularly interested in how the manifold human demands affect the productivity as well as diversity of the biological resources in this tract spanning some 160,000 sq.km. This involves field research on plant and bird communities, on the organization of rural societies in relation to the use of biological resources, and on the resource demands of the larger society. As a member of the Karnataka State Planning Board, he is currently formulating a programme of organizing local communities to prepare strategies for sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity each in their own localities. He represents the Government of India on the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to the International Convention on Biological Diversity.

His Pew Award Project involves the creation of a network of undergraduate colleges in the Western Ghats to work on and promote a people-oriented strategy of conservation of biodiversity on the Western Ghats. The project involves 25 groups of biology teachers and students focusing on a study area of around 25 sq.km. each near their institution. They have by now completed mapping the landscapes of their study localities and sampling for tree and bird species in representative examples of each type of landscape element. Some work has also been initiated on othe plant and animal groups including butterflies, freshwater molluscs, fishes, mosses and liverworts. These groups are now working on documenting the knowledge and conservation practices of local communities with respect to various elements of biodiversity.


Back to Western Ghats Biodiversity Network Homepage