‘Orans’ And KRAPAVIS

Krishi Avam Paristhitiki Vikas Sansthan (KRAPAVIS) has won the prestigious India Biodiversity Awards 2021 under the category ‘Sustainable Use of Biological Resources.’ The award was announced on the occasion of ‘International Biodiversity Day’ by the Union environment minister of in a virtual celebration.

What are Orans?

‘Orans’ are community forests that act as a store of biodiversity, enable effective water management and serve as a community based regeneration system, which also ensure sustainable extraction of Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFPs) by villagers, in the world’s oldest Aravali Mountain Range and in the Great Indian Desert of Rajasthan
Sacred groves have been live manifestations of historical, cultural and emotional attachment of human beings with forests. They unify rural communities religiously, culturally and socially. In due course, degradation and depletion of forests and forest resources have occurred due to several reasons—both natural and anthropogenic.(India).
There are about 25000 orans in Rajasthan that cover more than 600,000 hectares and provide a much-needed lifeline and safeguard to their respective communities.
Until two decades ago, orans have suffered widespread degradation due to neglect and misguided priorities, opposition from hostile actors such as profit-seeking corporations, the introduction of foreign flora and fauna that compromise biodiversity and from a changing climate, all of which led to a marked decline in the condition of orans.
Founded to address the above challenges, KRAPAVIS, an organization of local people, has been working for 21 years to revive orans, both physically and conceptually, in the desert and Aravali regions.


Krishi Avam Paristhitiki Vikas Sansthan (KRAPAVIS), literally means “organization for the development of ecology and agriculture/livestock”, works with a clear mission: the betterment of ecological, agricultural and livestock practices with a view to ensuring sustainable livelihoods for rural pastoral communities in Rajasthan.

For the last 17 years, KRAPAVIS has been working to revive Rajasthans orans (sacred village forests), both physically and conceptually. Orans are local micro bio-diversity reserves harboring the shrine of a local goddess or deity, most of which contain sources of water, either small springs or rivulets or a variety of ponds and rivers. It has so far succeeded in conserving biodiversity and protecting rural livelihoods in over 100 villages. This has been achieved through bio-diversity reconstruction, stakeholder/community engagement and institution building. KRAPAVIS has empowered local communities in order to expand their administrative and managerial abilities. The organisation has a lot of experience of protecting trees, conserving water, raising saplings in nurseries and planting these in orans and other community conserved areas. As well as oran restoration, KRAPAVIS is working on agriculture and pastoralist issues, which directly impact conservation.

KRAPAVIS has received numerous awards and sponsorships, as well as press attention. KRAPAVIS has initiated partnerships with different national and international agencies, academic institutions and universities, and has established linkages with several Rajasthan State Government departments.


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