Jagdeesh Rao Puppala

Chief Executive, Foundation for Ecological Security

Skoll Awardee


I have been the Chief Executive of the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) since its inception in the year 2001. My core areas of interests include conservation of forests and water; Bio-regional Planning and Land use studies. I am also interested in alternative narratives in development on issues pertaining to rainfed agriculture in arid, semi-arid, dryland ecosystems as well as in the decentralised governance of natural resources, Commons and collective action, with a tilt towards the poor. Additionally, as an alternative to State or Market led institutional process, I believe in bringing in a 'Commons' paradigm in the governance of natural resource management. My experience of working on restoration of degraded landscapes suggests that the drivers of restoration are as much about the local governance arrangements over the land and water as they are about the technical dimension of biophysical restoration.

My experience with village communities clearly points out that 'commons' need 'commons' i.e. institutions effective for managing common lands also reinforce similar principles in managing water, pastures and local schools. I feel that lessons learnt from village commons like pastures or urban commons like condominium etc. offer important lessons guiding emerging areas like international climate change, patenting etc. I also strongly believe that it is in the coming together of such a 'Commons' governance paradigm across various domains that one can hope for a future where the poor can also be a part of human society as equal members.