grantees » Anuja Date

Anuja Date, India

Anuja is a Research Associate at Gomukh Environmental Trust for Sustainable Development, where she helps promote the organization’s objective of ensuring food and water security through natural resource management. Anuja has made a contribution to many of the organization’s projects. Her real passion lies in forest conservation.  Anuja believes that forest conservation should be led by people who are directly dependent on forests for their livelihood. In 2006, a landmark law, called the Forest Rights Act (FRA), was passed in India. This law is an important tool for reinstating traditional systems of local management and the conservation of forests. However, the implementation of this Act has been disappointing. Anuja would like to create awareness of the law to ensure its implementation. 

She used her JWH Initiative grant to gain the necessary skills to reach her goal. Anuja participated in an internship at the Bhandara Nature and Culture Study Center, where she studied ways in which the FRA can be used to establish the rights of local peoples to forest resources. Here she learned about the great importance of research and analysis for all advocacy actions concerning the environment, and how one must try to guide local politics into conserving local resources. Anuja also learned to promote the FRA in various ways such as writing blogs, articles and participating in online forums. Finally, Anuja used these new skills to produce a publication that links the theory and practice of the new Act. This  can be distributed to local populations as educational material on the FRA and its potential for supporting  their livelihoods and environmental preservation. It is evident Anuja’s actions will surely empower communities towards conserving their forests, and thus also their own livelihoods.


Nominated by

Vijay Paranjpye Gomukh Environmental Trust for Sustainable Development  India.