Varnika Ashok Walvekar

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Forest Rights Act
  • Decentralised Forest Governance
  • Forest-based Livelihoods
  • GIS and Remote Sensing


Varnika Walvekar holds a Master’s in Environmental Studies (Conservation Practice) from Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) and The University of Trans-Disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology (TDU), Bengaluru. 

As a graduate in public policy, she had a strong interest in land and forest rights, which was strengthened during her brief stint as an intern with the Centre for Environment and Development at ATREE which involved mapping Community Forest Rights using GIS tools. 

Further to this, her research during her master’s focussed on employing a combination of remote sensing and social science methods to understand the impacts of Lantana camara, an invasive plant, on the livelihoods and well-being of the forest-dependent Baiga community in Madhya Pradesh.

In her current role, she seeks to further her knowledge of Forest Rights and use it to build the capacity of grassroots organisations.