Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF)

Pune, India

Restoring biodiversity of the degraded community forests in the Western Ghats of India.

Governance Overview

Total Income
Votes Delegated
Voting Ends
Western Ghats of India

Project Overview

Trees Planted
Hectares Restored
Planting Season


The Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) is a registered Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Pune, India. Since its inception in 1994, AERF has been working towards biodiversity conservation on the ground.

The Foundation applies the principles of ‘community based conservation’ and develops natural resource management models that actively involve local communities in the cause of forest protection to make conservation beneficial and to create a win-win situation for all the stakeholders. AERF projects are implemented in the North Western Ghats that form a part of a global biodiversity hotspot in India.

Team AERF also works across the country for research, training, capacity building and networking for conservation.

AERF’s mission is to establish a strong link between research and its effective use in the process of development, for poverty alleviation, sustainable resource use and participatory conservation.

The path to accomplish this mission goes through our work at grassroots levels for conservation of valuable habitats and biodiversity, through establishing meaningful partnerships, networking initiatives, participation and sharing benefits with communities. Our programs are designed to strike a balance between environment & development.

AERF aims to maintain a balance between conservation of biodiversity, forests, ecosystems and use of natural resources for the development of people. AERF is engaged in creating a link between research in the field of conservation and its actual use in action for conservation on the ground.


  • Recover degraded habitats
  • Maintain planted trees
  • Replant forests after natural disasters
  • Educate and mobilize local communities

Top Trees Species

  • Gmelina arborea
  • Pterocarpus marsupium
  • Pongamia pinnata
  • Antiaris toxicaria
  • Gmelina Arborea
  • Pterocarpus marsupium
  • Saraca asoca
  • Bambusa bamoo

Wildlife Protected

Our initiatives are helping save many speicies of animals, including: Indian Gaurs, Sambar deers, Palm civets, Great hornbills, Pangolins, Many species of butteflies, Porcupines, Wild boars, and leopards.

Challenges & threats for development

-> Lack of alternatives that would use the forests in a sustainable manner results in owners selling swathes forests to make a quick buck, but in return the entire ecosystem is degraded.

-> This region needs ecologically sensitive planning to promote economic growth. Land owners moving has also resulted in distress sales of biodiversity rich forests or their conversion for planting cashews.