Research Projects

The Institute of Environment Education and Research offers opportunities to the students and faculty to work on various research projects related to the field. Since its establishment, the institute has supported many research projects.

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Catalysing Geospatial Capacity Building Post the National Geospatial Policy 2022 (2023-2026)

    Funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India

    With the implementation of the New Geospatial Policy 2022, there has been acceleration of policy level initiatives for capacity building for the new stakeholder groups that are emerging across the country. There is also need to constantly provide new learning resources to promote training of trainers to keep pace with changing environment and technology. Effective implementation of the capacity-building program hinges on building organisation as well as individual capacity across the county.

    This project will facilitate the development of a National Framework for Geospatial Capacity Building to design, implement as well as organise the expanded scope of activities across the country following the National Geospatial Policy 2022. Alongwith this, it focuses on development tailor made geospatial capacity building programs for various stakeholders including geo innovation challenges, hackathons, mapathons, promoting spatial thinking among school teachers, students and other stakeholder and coordinate the implementation of the different geospatial capacity building programs of the National Geospatial Program of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India

  • Project Management Unit for National Geospatial Capacity Building Program

    The BVIEER has been appointed as the Project Management Unit (PMU) for the National Geospatial Capacity Building Initiative of the National Geospatial Capacity Building Program- Department of Science and Technology, Government of India from 2018 till date. As the PMU, BVIEER coordinates this capacity building program besides monitoring and developing teaching learning material through for the dst-iget portal. For more information visit:

  • Bioresource Potential of Solar Plants at Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh

    TATA Power and Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research, Pune are collaboratively working on the Biodiversity and Bioresouce Potential of the TATA Solar Park at Neemuch. Solar parks are the future of energy, providing electricity to millions of people and industries. With very minimal damage to the local environment, ground mounted photo voltaic systems have shown to harbour greater biodiversity. This project aiming to develop a sustainable model for management of solar parks focuses on documenting the biodiversity and designing management strategies for the grassland ecosystem in the solar park to enhance its biodiversity conservation potential and support ecosystem services as well as boost the local economy. re the future of energy, providing electricity to millions of people and industries. With very minimal damage to the local environment, ground mounted photo voltaic systems have shown to harbour greater biodiversity.

  • German-Indian Higher Education Cooperation - Environmental Interactions in Focus

    This programme with our partners at the University of Cologne, Germany aims to strengthen international collaboration for internationalization of teaching and research at the Institute. The programme involves exchange of students and joint teaching by faculty on both sides besides joint research and publications in fostering interdisciplinary research.

  • Education for Sustainable Development - An action program in schools

    This intensive environment action programme in 35 schools in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra focuses on building capacity for ESD among school teachers and orienting students to sustainability actions at the local level through use of their curricula and local surroundings. See more information in our Outreach Section.

  • Maharashtra State Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

    BVIEER has recently completed the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2018-2028) a document that is a key tool for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) objectives and the Aichi Targets at the state level. The strategies focus on reducing anthropogenic pressures on biodiversity resources and promoting their sustainable use through a cross sectoral approach.

Completed Research Projects

  • Prioritization of biodiversity heritage sites in the Western Ghats, Maharashtra, funded by the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board

    In Maharashtra, the Western Ghats are already fragmented and, in several areas, they are separated by roads, railways, dams and neo-urban settlements. Thus, identifying viable corridors has become an urgently essential key to biodiversity conservation. In some sectors a continuous corridor is untenable. The option is to protect several ‘hotspecks’ as stepping stones in identified biorich habitats to preserve biodiversity as best possible and identify threats to a ‘permeable matrix’. The hotspecks include Reserved Forests and other ecologically intact areas such as plateaus, forts, and escarpments which are preserved due to their inaccessibility as well as community conserved sites, such as sacred groves, temple sites, and water ‘kunds’.

    This project aims to protect this network of identified ecologically valuable sites by building up a much needed data base of the ecologically fragile sites (hotspecks) such as important Reserved Forests, plateaus of high floral endemism and species richness; river sources and riverine tracts of exceptional value; avifaunal colonies; erosion prone catchments of dams, and important sacred groves as well as threats and develop participatory management recommendations through active participation of local people especially in still wilderness areas.

  • Linking biodiversity and faunal values to Cultural Visual Heritage as a tool for Biodiversity Conservation in Maharashtra,funded by the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board

    The Biodiversity Act of India (2002) has provisions for several programmes such as Biodiversity Management Committees, People’s Biodiversity Registers and Biological Heritage Sites to be set up for biodiversity conservation in the country. However, the history of biodiversity conservation in India has not paid much emphasis in the involvement of the indigenous knowledge of the local people with the conservation programs of the area. Indigenous knowledge is locale specific and is an integral part of the cultural heritage of the people. Art and crafts are elements of cultural heritage and the biodiversity is a part of the natural heritage of the people.

    This project has documented the linkages of the biodiversity and faunal values to the visual heritage of the local people as it is an aspect which has never been explored with respect to the biodiversity of an area. Using surveys and secondary data, visual art of the region has been collated. Expert interviews with different stakeholders have facilitated the documentation of information on visual art, folklore and other cultural assets with special emphasis on links to their immediate environment and biodiversity of the region.

    The outcomes of the project will help in improved selection of sites for the creation of Biological Management Committees (BMC), People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR) and Biological Heritage Sites (BHS).

  • “Refinement and dissemination of national training of trainer module and follow-up activities”, funded by the GIZ, Germany.

  • “Analysis of various national and state laws, to understand its collective impact on management and conservation of protected areas (in-situ conservation) in Maharashtra”, funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forests

  • “Prioritization of Biodiversity heritage sites of Western Ghats, Maharashtra”, funded by the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board.

  • “Linking Biodiversity and faunal values to Cultural Visual Heritage as a tool for Biodiversity Conservation in Maharashtra” funded by the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board.

  • ‘Modelling the impedance and mortality locations of wildlife using geoinformatics along highways in Maharashtra State for improvement of EIA, SEA and BIA techniques in India’, funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (2011-2014)

    This project focuses on estimate the impedance on movements of indicator species due to operation of the NH4 highway in Maharashtra state and model the mortality risk posed by the NH4 highway for selected indicator species with the aim of identifying zones of relative mortality of indicator species for developing wildlife mitigation measures such wildlife underpass / overpass or ecoducts providing a valuable input into EIA, SEA projects in India

  • ‘Ecological assessment of the common effluent treatment plant, Mahad, Maharashtra’ funded by the Mahad Industrial Association (2011-2012)

  • ‘Health disparities in Pune/India’ jointly with the University of Cologne Germany funded by the DFG, Germany (2011-2012),

    The objective of the study is to analyze the distribution of risk factors and disease burden of environment-related diseases which have been caused through physical elements in the natural (e.g. water) and unnatural (e.g. garbage) environment causing diseases such as vector borne diseases, gastro-intestinal diseases, pollution related diseases, etc. in Pune. The project will be implemented on two different levels: (i) on the macro level: a GIS mapping on the city level and (ii) on the micro level: a detailed analysis of health determining factors in six different research areas representing different parts of the city as well as different socioeconomic groups.

  • ‘Preparing database of echolocation calls of bats in Western Ghats’, funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. (2010-2013)

    The research project involves making an inventory of bat diversity in the Western Ghats through the use of modern scientific techniques, a first for the country.

  • ‘Study of wildlife habitat changes in the fragmented forests of the Dang, South Gujarat, using aerial photo documentation’ funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India

    This project involves use of aerial photographs of the Dangs taken in 1989 for an earlier project- the ‘Dangs Ecological Project’. This project has identified percent loss of trees in the area considering that the Forest Department has given certain special rights to the tribals in the Dangs and is in the process of suggesting management strategies.

  • ‘Use of GIS for wildlife management’ funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forests

    This project done in the Ahmednagar and Sholapur districts of Maharashtra state built upon an earlier project that dealt with mitigation of conflicts. The data collected from the earlier project was put on to a GIS system to develop land use maps. These are presently being used to design strategies for conservation of the black buck in the view of extensive irrigation in the project are which is converting their habitat into agricultural lands.

  • ‘Key conservation issues in the semi-arid Deccan plateau’ Project under the MAB SCHEME funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, New Delhi (2002)

    The primary objective of this study was aimed at mitigating the conflict between conservation goals and human utilization of natural resources. The key issues were to minimize the effect of crop damage by blackbuck, develop a strategy to reduce predation of sheep by wolf and restore biological values in existing Drought Prone Area Program plantations.

    • To mitigate the problem caused due to crop damage by black buck and thus reduce the extent of man-animal conflict.
    • Develop a conservation scheme, which aims at protecting the wolf by improving habitat conditions and reintroduction of its natural prey by a rational zoning of the area and formulating a rangeland management scheme for livestock.
    • Quantify wildlife diversity in Social Forestry plantations, suggest variations in their management that could substantially increase their biological value.

    The area of work was in Ahmednagar, Sholapur and Satara districts of Maharashtra. The project developed site specific management options that could be used by the Forest Department to decrease man-animal conflict. Possible solutions included range land management, crop protection cooperatives, crop insurance schemes, electric fencing, etc. These were assessed and discussed extensively at the local level for local participation.

    These local level initiatives were used as a model for other similar areas. An important aspect has been the development of locale specific conservation awareness programs initiated at school level using slide shows, dramas, role plays, etc. and drive home the conservation message so that a more positive attitude and a pride of having an endangered species in their area. The information was directly utilized by the Forest Department to design appropriate management plans. The project provided the baseline data essential for the notification of a Wolf Sanctuary in Maharashtra.

  • ‘Identification of biorich patches and corridors between protected areas in the northern sector of the Western Ghats for promoting conservation action’ funded by the Indira Gandhi Conservation Monitoring Center of the World Wide Fund for Nature-India New Delhi (2004)

    The study has identified forest islands and gaps and has estimated their size the extent of isolation from each other and the status of existing or possible corridors in the main sector of the study area from Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary to Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. A map of forest areas referred to as ‘islands’ having a forest cover greater than 80% and those between 40% to 80% have been identified. An analysis of this information has provided a deeper understanding of gaps between forest fragments the existence of gaps in the forest and corridors between the two Protected Areas has helped identify sites that need to be notified as new Protected Areas.

    This has been discussed at meetings of the Wildlife Advisory Board, Maharashtra and two new Protected Areas in the region have been proposed and accepted. The boundaries for these two PAs of Kalsubai and Mulshi have been selected on the bases of Satellite images based on both ecological and administrative criteria. The project has thus been the bases for initiating a comprehensive rational conservation strategy at the regional level for this biologically rich and ecologically sensitive area.

  • ‘Ecorestorative strategies to preserve the biologically sensitive protected areas in Maharashtra with special reference to grassland protected area management’ funded by the Maharashtra State Forest Department (2000-2003)

    The project brought out the biological value and conservation potential of the grasslands which are now considered as National Assets. In such areas it was found that, sustainable use can revert grasslands to a state which includes more native species including grasses, forages and their dependent fauna.

    The study carried out in Phaltan, Nannaj and Rehekuri in Satara, Sholapur and Ahmednagar districts in Maharashtra state has proved the point that unless grazing pressures on grasslands are reduced they cannot be conserved. The project designed a conservation strategy for grassland PAs in Maharashtra at the landscape level, ecosystem level, species level and at conflict level. It also designed eco-development strategies and a participatory approach for grassland PA management. During the period of the project Forest Department personnel were trained in field techniques and strategies for monitoring grassland Protected Areas.

  • Project on ‘Inland Wetlands of India’ funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forests through Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore.

    The BVIEER in collaboration with the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) implemented the project ‘Inland Wetlands of India’ for Maharashtra State. Eight districts in Maharashtra were selected based on the satellite imagery interpretation of wetlands in the State. The wetlands were selected on the basis of their size. NGOs from eight districts namely Pune, Sholapur, Nasik, Aurangabad, Nagpur were selected for implementation of this project at the district level. The workshop to orient the participants to techniques in sample collection, data collection and bird, fish and plant identification in field was organized. The outputs of the project have added inputs into national database on wetlands. The maps prepared from this analysis will be used for the management of the wetlands in the state by the Forest Department and the concerned authorities.

  • ‘Survey of Protected Areas in Maharashtra’ Project’ funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forests through the Indian Institute of Public Administration.

    This project developed a database on various issues related to management of 36 PAs in Maharashtra. This survey of the Protected Areas in Maharashtra aimed at collecting and analyzing information on the Protected Areas in Maharashtra towards preparing a comprehensive report that will help in developing an ongoing monitoring system for assessing the status of each Protected Area. This data was used for developing management guidelines for individual Protected Areas in Maharashtra.

    This project highlighted several gaps in the management of the Protected Areas in the state. Many of the aspects have not been given adequate attention to in the day-to-day working of the Management. These gaps were either due to general neglect of the management or due to paucity of funds. But these have severely affected the Protected Areas and the wildlife that resides in them.

    The project also gave a strategy for the conservation of biodiversity in Maharashtra and a strategy to develop and IPAS. This included suggestions on

    • Reorganizing and strengthening of the Wildlife Wing
    • Regrouping of Protected Areas and their organizational framework
    • Training for PA managers
    • Management planning for Pas within the IPAS
    • Human issues to PA management
    • Legal issues
    • Research, Training and conservation awareness issues
  • ‘A conservation awareness and action program for an ecologically fragile region using local traditional values’ American Association for the Advancement of Science, USA

    The aim of this project was to study community perceptions on biodiversity with a focus on gaps in traditional information in relation to modern ‘thought’ process with a view to identify how local people felt as these can be bridged.

    This study highlighted the fact that while local people understand plants and animals that they used or worshipped they did not understand the broader implications of conserving biodiversity nor were they concerned about it. A locale specific conservation awareness program for communities and schools was designed based on the gaps identified during the study. This brought about not only an enhanced awareness of the value of biodiversity in their own areas but also motivated them to implement conservation action programs, such as growing indigenous species of plants, preventing sale of private forest land, setting up alternatives for fuel wood, etc.