India Biodiversity Awards






India has a rich heritage of biodiversity that it is committed to protect, as it provides ecological, economic, social, cultural, spiritual, educational, scientific and aesthetic services for millions of people. India also has vast experience in natural resource conservation and there are diverse models of biodiversity management in operation, ranging from officially managed protected areas to community-led conservation. The valuable work done by biodiversity managers at the grassroots has remained unsung, even as the value of biodiversity itself has begun to be widely recognised. It is felt that national recognition of these outstanding biodiversity management efforts will provide an additional impetus to them, as well as spread awareness for improved biodiversity management across the country.

Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India; and the United Nations Development Programme, India, are pleased to announce the call for nominations for the India Biodiversity Awards, which will recognize contributions that embody outstanding governance models of biodiversity management. The Awards will be presented during the 11th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in October 2012 in Hyderabad.

One nomination in each of the following four categories will be selected for the award:

1. Community stewardship – Community-led biodiversity management by autonomous community institutions

2. Decentralised governance – Biodiversity management by local self-governments and local level statutory institutions

3. Co-management – Biodiversity jointly managed by communities and the Government

4. Protected Areas – Effective and innovative management practices by management agencies of Protected Areas

Each of the four recipients of the India Biodiversity Awards will receive a cash prize of INR 100,000 and a citation.


Nominees must be institutions based in India and must have been engaged in the nominated biodiversity management activities for at least 5 years.

Institutions eligible for Awards under each of the 4 categories are as follows:

1. Community stewardship

Formal or informal community-run institutions, such as village committees, traditional Adivasi/community institutions, communities protecting Community Conserved Areas, Self Help Groups, watershed management committees, sacred groves and ponds management groups, village clubs, self-initiated forest protection groups and other related groups.

2. Decentralised governance

Local-governance institutions (Panchayats at all levels – village, block and district, as well as Gram Sabhas), Autonomous District Councils, Biodiversity Management Committees under the Biodiversity Act, communities managing Community Forests under Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest-Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006, Van Panchayats, and other related institutions.

3. Co-management

Biodiversity institutions jointly managed by communities and the Government, such as Forest Management Committees, Eco-development Committees, and other related institutions.

4. Protected Areas

Protected Area management agencies, such as National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Community Reserves and Conservation Reserves, and other related agencies.

It is understood that many local institutions working for biodiversity management may not be able to apply for the Awards themselves and therefore agencies working with these institutions are encouraged to apply for the Awards on their behalf. However, the Awards will be given to the local institutions working for biodiversity conservation and not to the agencies that are supporting these institutions.


Nominations are sought from the eligible institutions or agencies working on their behalf. The selection will be done through the following process. In the first stage, brief information about the eligible institutions and their work is required in the nomination format. Thereafter, a shortlist will be prepared on the basis of information provided by the nominees. Shortlisted nominees under each category will be sent a detailed format for providing further information on the criteria listed below. A desk review of these detailed submissions will be done by Jury. Field validation will be undertaken for a selected list of nominees. The final awardees will be selected on the basis of the desk review and field validation. It may be noted that the Awardees will be selected from amongst the nominations received to this call.

Please note that due to the large number of nominations that are expected, it will not be possible to communicate the result of the shortlisting and final selection to unsuccessful nominations.


The following broad criteria will be used for the final selection process:

1. Sufficiency of information under all heads and broad fit with the mandate/category of Award.

2. Institutions and systems of governance established: Level of involvement of relevant stakeholders through coalition building, leadership and facilitation of partnerships; accountability of leadership to relevant stakeholders – particularly to marginalised and excluded groups; ability of stakeholders to voice their grievances and to seek redressal; regular vetting of leadership, public participation, public information and transparency, sustainability of the governance system.

3. Processes followed: Processes followed by the institution for setting goals, planning, co-ordination, conflict resolution, resource mobilisation, implementation, building relationships with external stakeholders, monitoring, feedback and learning, compliance with statutory/customary laws and norms, external evaluation system, knowledge management and networking, stakeholder participation underpinning all these decision-making processes.

4. Outcomes achieved: Size of community involved and benefited, equity among stakeholders in sharing of tangible and intangible benefits of management, accountability to community and to higher level institution, effectiveness of biodiversity management and improvement of livelihoods in the process of management, enhancement in sustainability of the resource base and ecosystem services, improvement in canopy covered (in case of Forest ecosystem), improvement in regeneration status, adaptability of institution to changes in internal and external environment, potential for scalability / replicability, innovative approaches, non-standard approaches to problem solving.


A Jury composed of eminent experts on different aspects of biodiversity management will guide the Awards process and select the winners.


Nominations for the India Biodiversity Awards may be submitted directly by the institution engaged in biodiversity management; or with prior informed consent of the institution, by a partner agency, or by any third party that is familiar with the activities and achievements of the nominee. Awards will be given to the nominated institution alone. Nomination format is given at the end of this call

Completed nominations (in MS-Word format) should be submitted by e-mail at biodiversity_awards<at>

Shortlisted entries from the nominations received will undergo a verification process which will require nominees and/or nominators to provide additional information/materials.


Completed nomination forms must be received latest by 6 PM on 10th June 2012.

India Biodiversity Awards: Nomination format for Shortlisting

1. Name of the institution/committee/organization being nominated

2. Category of award being nominated for: (Please select one)

Community stewardship: Autonomous community institution

Decentralised governance: Local self-government or statutory committee

Co-management: Government-supported non-statutory community institution like JFM Committee/ Eco-development Committee

Protected Areas: Protected Area management agency

3. Nominee is best described as: (choose all that apply)

Community-based organization

Community-based enterprise or cooperative

Self Help Group (SHG)

Other women's group

Adivasi group

Youth group

Non-governmental organization

Panchayati Raj Institution

Van Panchayat

Biodiversity Management Committee under the Biodiversity Act

Community Reserve Management Committee under Wildlife Protection Act

Institution managing forest under Forest Rights Act

Joint Forest Management Committee

Eco-development Committee

Protected Area management institution

Other (please specify)

4. Description of the nominated contribution (please answer all questions, the description for all the points should not exceed 1000 words):

a) What is the purpose of the contribution?

b) What are the main characteristics of the ecosystem where the work is undertaken?

c) What are the main challenges of biodiversity management addressed by the work?

d) What are the activities undertaken?

e) What is the geographical coverage of the work?

f) What is the size and composition of the community/communities involved in management?

g) Who are the main stakeholders?

h) What are the main biodiversity outcomes of the contribution?

i) What are the main livelihood benefits for stakeholder communities from the contribution?

j) How are decisions taken in a participatory manner in the institution?

k) How does the work relate to statutory provisions of forest policy, Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act and Forest Rights Act?

5. Contact information: Please provide contact information for the following:

For the nominees

- Name of the organisation/ institution/ committee

- Name of the contact person

- Position/ Title

- Street/ Locality Address

- Village/ Town/ City with Postal Code

- Landline number with STD Code

- Mobile number

- Email Address (if available)

- Website (if available)

For the nominator

- Name of the organisation/ institution

- Name of the contact person

- Position/ Title

- Street/ Locality Address

- Village/ Town/ City with Postal Code

- Landline number with STD Code

- Mobile number

- Email Address

- Website (if available)

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