Forests of Life

Exploring our motivation for Forests of Life

Forests are a source of food, medicine, and timber, providing benefits to man and animal alike. However, the wild is in decline, leading to a call to protect these fragile resources. There is a wide variety of choices people have made for themselves, forgetting that forests inherently comprise flora, fauna, and human beings, and the alienation of one will inevitably alter the character of the forests. 

Forests are under threat from increased demands, leading to a decline in the health of fragile areas, escalating stress, and conflicts. Positions of those advocating access for traditional users and those advocating for inviolate sones have become increasingly entrenched. Additionally, industrial forces demand more and cheaper access to raw materials, as well as permission for the diversion of forest lands.

In the midst of this gloom, there is a glimmer of hope that forests in India can survive and flourish into the next century. Forests continue to have strong social and cultural linkages with human communities and mainstream religious customs. However, we must act now, for the loss of forests is at stake, and with it, a precious heritage that has existed for millennia.

Forests form the very foundation of the earth, connecting the skies to the soil and giving rise to giant clouds of mist. They provide sustenance and shelter to countless species, and their value is becoming more imperative as the world struggles to respond to the growing climate crisis.

To address these challenges, it is necessary to consider the ownership, use, and management of forests. The state has larger concerns in mind to meet larger objectives, but it is also necessary to consider the needs of indigenous communities who have traditionally depended upon natural resources. 

Can they be made partners in forest management and continue to protect its resources, undertaking the least damaging activity of NTFP collection, rather than large-scale mutilation of forest regions? 

Indigenous people, if made modern-day guardians, can become pre-eminent defenders of the forest, augmenting the efforts of the solitary forest guard significantly.

Our goal is to create an inclusive narrative that explores one aspect of nature at a time, beginning with water, which is central to life on earth, and then moving on to other equally fascinating aspects of nature and our interactions with them. We aim to share information on the current condition of our forests, both the good and the bad, and to inspire action towards better forest management, including the protection of old trees.

So, forests are more than just a source of material goods. They are home to many and have cultural significance that goes beyond their economic value. As stewards of the land, we have a responsibility to protect and manage forests in a way that balances the needs of different interest groups, including indigenous communities, conservationists, and theatre. By working together, we can ensure that forests continue to be a vital part of our planet’s biodiversity and provide sustenance and shelter for countless species for generations to come.

Forests are essential to the well-being of the planet, providing habitat for biodiversity, regulating the climate, and supporting the livelihoods of millions of people. However, the state of the world’s forests is concerning, with deforestation and forest degradation occurring at an alarming rate. This is primarily driven by the expansion of agriculture, mining, and urbanisation, which are putting increasing pressure on forests.

India is facing a major dilemma between development and conservation. The challenge for India is to reconcile conservation ideals with resource use by communities. It is essential to recognise that sustainable resource use can only be achieved through the preservation and restoration of ecosystems, which are key drivers of climate resilience and biodiversity conservation.

Management strategies need to adopt strategies based on sound evidence, and the decisions should be taken through a consultative and participatory approach involving all stakeholders, including the forest-dependent communities. This will help in identifying and addressing the diverse needs of the communities living in and around forest areas.

The intention behind such strategies is two-fold: to realise that a healthy forest environment and the sustainability of societies are the objectives of forestry and then act. Forests are important repositories of biodiversity and should be protected and the challenge for India is to strike a balance. This can only be achieved by recognising the importance of ecosystems and adopting sustainable forestry practices that protect and restore the biodiversity and the natural resources that support human livelihoods.

Please do. Come and experience the wonder, love, and mystery of the forest, where you can feel one with nature’s force, hear yourself clearest, and discover the unknown. It’s a chance to slow down, connect with pacemakers of life, and create a love affair with the forest that never fades. Join us for stories on sleepovers by the river, with stars as a roof and animals for friends. Join us to hear the tale of the forest as they recall times where humans have behaved at their best, or at their worst. Join us in a shared learning from each other.

We have a medical unit on campus and offer resources in case of medical emergencies and immediate services for common and minor ailments at our clinic. A doctor is available on campus at the University First-aid Centre during work hours. Guests can consult the doctor in case of any medical emergency. We would strongly encourage guests to alert our team in case they develop fever/​cold/​cough during their stay.

Considering the safety of the students and staff on campus we request guests take utmost precautions and stay safe. A nurse is available at night on call at all our residences. The unit is located on the ground floor of the B5 block.

We encourage you to register, to ensure a smoother process of entry – however, you are still welcome for a drop-in visit. Please bring a government-approved photo ID to register at the gate.

The Mail room is your go-to room. It is opposite B1 and adjacent to Gate 2. Please report to the room and collect your article or register your query in case you have lost something recently.

Our canteen has a tuck shop and separate meals. The payment can be done both through cash and by scanning a QR code. (Please note: Airtel and Jio sim works fine for internet use while making payments).

The exhibition will use English and Kannada as the primary language for discussions. In addition, most panels are trilingual — in English, Kannada, and Hindi — for wider accessibility.