Jagdeesh Rao Puppala of the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) in India, is securing common land to ensure a better future for the rural poor.
In India, many poor rural communities rely on publicly-owned lands for their food and livelihood. Yet these lands have been managed poorly, leading to degradation and exploitation. Jagdeesh has long promoted the idea that the well-being of rural communities depends on the balance of social and ecological systems. FES helps villagers secure community rights to publicly-owned land and support regulations to manage it in a more sustainable and productive way.
The result of this collaborative work has been higher quality of soil, water, and biodiversity, leading to improved agricultural productivity and economic security for the rural poor. To date, FES has secured community rights to nearly 4 million acres of land in India, providing communities a solid foundation on which to build local democracies, sustainable livelihoods and better futures.