The Habitats Trust (THT), a not-for-profit dedicated to preserving India’s natural habitats and species, announced the recipients for the annual THT Grants 2023. These grants aim to support holistic, innovative, and replicable conservation initiatives dedicated to preserving India’s indigenous flora, fauna, and often-neglected habitats.
Ms. Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Founder & Trustee, The Habitats Trust said, ‘The successful conclusion of this year’s THT Grants reaffirms our pride in the dedicated individuals working tirelessly for wildlife & nature. We are happy to witness the impact that these grants are having on the conservation efforts. From the recovery of critically endangered species to the restoration of degraded habitats, we have witnessed progress in projects that have received the support. The THT Grants stand as a testament to this commitment, providing a valuable resource for individuals and organizations seeking to support projects in the field of conservation.”
Grant Categories and Winners
Two organizations namely, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) and Wildlife Research and Conservation Society (WRCS) – received grants worth Rs 1 crore each for their projects under the THT Conservation Grant. This grant supports Indian organisations addressing conservation challenges for lesser-known species and critical habitats through holistically designed conservation efforts, providing a three-year grant to two selected applicants. SACON’s project aims to conserve the largely overlooked subterranean cave habitat in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. WRCS is working on the conservation of the endangered Forest Owlet in the Khandwa and Burhanpur districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Furthermore, the THT Action Grant empowered three organizations/individuals – Nature Mates- nature club, Rimung Tasso and Forest First Samhiti, with Rs 25 lakh each to drive their initiatives. This grant supports individuals and organizations engaged in urgent on-ground conservation projects for lesser-known species and habitats, providing a two-year grant to three selected applicants, open to both entities and individuals. Nature Mates Nature Club is actively enhancing capacities for hornbill conservation near a tiger reserve. Rimung Tasso focuses on community empowerment through ecotourism for the conservation of red pandas and takins in Manigong, Arunachal. Meanwhile, Forest First Samhiti is dedicated to restoring degraded critical elephant habitat in Tholpetty, Wayanad, by supporting local livelihoods.
Apart from these, The Habitats Grants supports organisations and individuals working on small, limited duration projects or conservation research efforts with its monthly THT Seeds Grant. The grant provides up to Rs 3 lakh to assist tackle issues related to lesser-known species/ habitats, or pilot projects in relatively unexplored landscapes or data deficient species.
This year’s winners were selected from a competitive pool of over 100 nationwide applications spanning the diverse landscapes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Gujrat, West Bengal, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra among other regions.
The rigorous three-stage selection process, evaluating the anticipated impact, relevance, scalability, and sustainability of the projects, culminated in the selection of 15 finalists by a distinguished jury. The panel included wildlife biologist and environmental journalist Bahar Dutt, Brian Heath, Founder and CEO of the Mara Triangle Conservation Area in Kenya, Dr. M. K. Ranjitsinh, wildlife expert and architect of the Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972, and Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson of HCLTech and Founder and Trustee of The Habitats Trust.
5 years of The Habitats Trust
Celebrating five impactful years, The Habitats Trust has been a driving force in conservation.
In its fifth year, the Trust is building on its formative years, and facilitates the efforts of organisations and individuals and is also developing its own conservation programmes. In order to effectively preserve habitats and species on ground and under water, the trust has launched comprehensive, scientific, impact-oriented initiatives. These include On-Ground Initiatives, Marine Programme, Technology for Conservation, Education and Awareness, Communication and Outreach, Ecological Restoration, Conservation Behavioural Sciences and the THT Grants. With significant collaborations with many organizations and individuals including the Indian Navy, Abhinav Bindra Foundation, Bombay Natural History Society, and many more, the Habitats Trust has taken conservation efforts in India to a level up.
With an unwavering commitment to spread awareness about conservation that is most palatable and accessible to different audiences, The Habitats Trust has launched its YouTube Channel. It has commissioned an impressive array of 190 films for the YouTube Channel in diverse Indian languages, enriching the narrative of conservation and amplifying its reach across communities. The organisation stands as a true believer in the power of awareness and engagement, striving to build a future where conservation is not just a mission but a shared responsibility embraced by all.
About The Habitats Trust
Founded in 2018 by Roshni Nadar Malhotra, the Chairperson of HCLTech and Trustee, Shiv Nadar Foundation, and Shikhar Malhotra, the Vice Chairman of HCL Healthcare and Trustee, Shiv Nadar Foundation, The Habitats Trust is working towards protecting natural habitats and their indigenous species of flora and fauna through strategic partnerships, sustainable on-ground efforts, engaging technology for conservation and generating conservation awareness. The Trust envisions a world where our natural habitats are secured for future generations, and humans live in harmony with the wildlife that share our planet.
About The Habitats Trust Grants
India is a megadiverse country, with only 2.4% of the world’s land area, it accounts for 7% – 8% of all recorded species, including over 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals. Four of the 34 globally identified biodiversity hotspots: The Himalayas, the Western Ghats, the North-East, and the Nicobar Islands, are found in India. However, rampant habitat loss and fragmentation, increasing biotic pressures on forests, and poaching and the illegal wildlife trade in species, pose a grave threat to India’s biodiversity. In 2018, the annual Grants was conceptualised to recognize, and support committed conservationists who have dedicated their lives to securing the country’s vibrant flora and fauna.