To push forward GIST's mission of steering development towards to an inclusive green economy of permanence, the Trust, through its various projects, intends to educate and inform the public and private sector about the policy implications of weakly managed natural, human and social capitals, in order to enable sound decision making.
The following projects proposed by GIST aim at eradicating poverty & malnutrition, promoting health & sanitation, ensuring environmental sustainability, maintaining ecological balance and protecting biodiversity in India. Aligned with the listed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the proposed projects seek funding from public sector bodies as well as corporates to invest in research activities in the field(s) of their interest.
Find below brief summaries of the proposed projects:
The Inclusive Wealth (IW) of Indian States Project aims to measure natural and human contribution towards India's development so that these resources are better managed. The IW project will be an enhancement of the Green Accounting for Indian States Project (GAISP) and will help assess the decadal change in India's natural and social wealth.
The IW projects want to replace the damaging fixation on GDP growth, with holistic metrics allowing corporations to effectively manage their impact on natural, human and social capital. The modus operandi will be data gathering, computation for inclusive wealth statements, the development of a country template, and the compilation of an online public database.
The Groundwater Ecosystem Services Valuation Project aims at evaluating and managing regional risk of water scarcity. It proposes a pilot study to determine the socio-economic benefits of groundwater for key beneficiaries, and the impacts of current degradation and depletion on regional economy, equity and the environment.
The project aims to contribute towards the sustainable management of groundwater in India and drive investment in water infrastructure programmes.
Diclofenac, which is a widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAD), is one of the main causes of decline in the vulture population. Vultures provide a wide range of vital services, from preventing the spread of diseases to checking soil and water contamination.
The Vulture Project aims to calculate the cost of banning the vulture-toxic NSAID Diclofenac and estimate in economic terms the services provided by vultures. The ultimate goal of the project is to push for alternative vulture-safe drugs to help repopulate vultures in India.
Natural capital is an important asset on which the livelihood and sustenance of rural population depend. The GDP of the Poor indicator helps measure the value of household incomes of rural communities to account for the economically invisible but critical ecosystem services.
A pilot assessment at the district level will be undertaken to evaluate the degree of dependence of the rural poor on natural capital, and recommendations will be conveyed on how to increase resilience and well being of the rural poor.
The Mangrove Ecosystem Valuation project aims to raising public awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems and the good and services they provide. Mangrove ecosystem services must be weighted and valued so that mangrove conservation becomes a priority in environmental policy-making in India.
In order to achieve this objective, a mangrove ecosystem services valuation framework will be elaborated, the material benefits will be demonstrated in economic terms, and actionable recommendations for policy-makers and organisations will be formulated.