IFAD Consultancy Case Study by S Kotnala Creating a grassroot institution for common forest resource management, ILC


In 1997 Seva Mandir created an informal network of Forest Protection Committees, the Van Utthan Sansthan
(VUS). In 2003 VUS acquired a formal status as a nongovernmental organisation that protects and manages
67,000 hectares of forestland in more than 240 villages in Udaipur, Rajasthan, under Joint Forest Management (JFM).
Today VUS successfully engages with tribal communities to work together for forest protection by improving
common land and forest resources governance. It has addressed overgrazing, mining and illegal privatisation of
forestlands. It has also been instrumental for achieving an increase in livelihood opportunities for communities.