Most of the friends and relatives and those I meet around the world ask me the question ‘How did you enter into United Nations’? Frankly, they should ask me more important question: ‘how come I stayed there so long?’ . I am certainly not a very diplomatic person. Nor I had any background of working in the government system. Then how come?

Crossing the boundaries, raising the bars, making the meetings gusty, intense sharing of the ideas to make the dreams come true are my passions. I strongly believe that nothing can stop, not even the powerful missile shield in the world, the implementation of ideas whose time has come. Many call such time as ‘tipping point’.

Action is the core of all the intensions, all the discussions, all the writing and all the speeches that I made. My first job in Tata Chemicals involved making chemicals from the sea water. In the book titled “The Creation of Wealth” by R.M Lala who wrote about passionate and committed CEO , Mr. Darbari Seth, under whom I workd during my first job after graduating from IIT-Mumbai. . He built one of the ‘modern temples’ of India i.e. chemical complex in a desolate, barren and ‘no entrepreneur-dare-put-up-manufacturing-facility’ type of place where nothing was right to set up such complex. But he had one motto: we can do it!

My last job is in UN. My programme is called ‘OzonAction’. I am so happy that the programme did more walk than talk. In a place where bingos take precedence over meaningful actions, I performed.

Ozone Day: Land-Locked but Ambitions-Unlocked


I was in Kyrgyzstan to celebrate International Ozone Day. The government announced ambitious project to match its ozone layer protection and climate mitigation. (more…)


River Revival:Leveraging the Faith For Nature Restoration

Civilisations in the past came to rivers and settled. Now the rivers come to civilisations through tap waters. TERRE Policy Centre’s Restoration Project. (more…)


Going beyond the signatures: Paris Climate Agreement

IMG_6640I had an opportunity to be in New York on 22nd April when Paris Climate Agreement was opened for the signature by the world leaders. Knowing it is Earth Day, I decided to participate in “Down to Earth” event in my village.

Indeed, I thought, accelerated implementation of the Paris agreement and  raising the bar-to take Green House Gas (GHG) reduction targets to much higher heights -is so crucial for existence of life on the Earth. At the same time, I thought that walking the talk, at individual way,  is more important.

On that  international Earth day- I travelled to my native town of population 25,000 to join my friends for get going on the implementation of climate agreement albeit in very small way.

We cleaned the dirty, stagnated and plastic-full rivulet flowing at the entrance of the town . The rivulet was once source of water to the town but in era of ‘modern development’ it was conveniently transformed into dumping ground for the waste generated by the town. Garbage flows there in place of water. It is the horrific scene of stagnated dirty water bodies-full of plastic garbage-that affects the health of the people and animals. We cleaned it and dug pits on the banks of the rivulet for the trees to be planted when the rains would start.

Another project we launched was sale of Organic agricultural products, for the first time in the town. It was great surprise to watch people buying the organic products even at higher price. People of my town have started realising that health and sustainability are more important than the price they pay for unsustainable practices. We decided to continue the sales-outlet every week during bazar-day.

But what organic farming and cleaning the rivulet have to do with Climate Change?

Organic farming affordably captures carbon from the air and effectively stores it in the soil in high levels for long-periods. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions arising from excessive use of man-made fertilizers that emit nitrous oxide which is 300 times more potent green house gas than carbon dioxide.

Cleaning the rivulet would make the stagnant water flow again. Removing decomposing rubbish in stagnant water would stop the emission of methane –a GHG that has Global Warming Potential

( GWP) higher than carbon-dioxide. Planting the trees would create a sink that would absorb the carbon-dioxide.

More than just a voluntary work on the Earth day, we had started, in tiny way, the implementation of Paris Climate Deal. That was rural people’s signature on the Agreement! . END

By Rajendra Shende, TERRE Policy Centre


Spend Less Time Get Better Paid- Melinda Gates Project on Women’s Day

Ourare Allaye Temp village in Mondoro region of Mali.

Melinda Gates in her brilliant annual letter jointly written with Bill Gates makes timely and most relevant propositions.Think non-linear.  (more…)


Green Olympiad before Brazil Olympics

Learning to compete and conserve on-line. TERRE’s new initiative.  (more…)


Behind every efficiency there stands a woman


Women have a crucial role in everyone’s life especially in childhood as being the first person teaching us the basics about the life. (more…)


Story-Telling: Ecosystems and Cloud Networking : 5000 years back

rainbow-in-the-clouds-15621 (1)5000 years back Indian poet narrated a story that relates to environmental protection and cloud networking. (more…)


Bottom Acts while Top Keeps Debating: Climate Awards


When Shanti Tekam, a woman from a remote MP village, walked on to the stage on 13 September  night to receive 2015 Earth Care Award ( ECA) on behalf of her community, for saving forest of her neighbourhood, she represented  disruptive innovations  for Global Climate conundrum. (more…)


Earth Care Awards : India’s Leading Climate Leadership Saga

ECA Award


Urban Forestry Project Launched

Urban forestA joint project of TERRE, MOEFCC of India, Tata Motors and Pune citizen.

 ‘THE BEST TIME TO PLANT A TREE WAS 20 YEARS AGO. THE NEXT BEST TIME IS TODAY.’ And if such plantation is done in the middle of urban center like growing city of Pune, this Chinese proverb inspires to act. TERRE policy centre did just that. It launched Urban Forestry Programme by undertaking tree plantation programme on the occasion of World Environment Day of 2015.

In association with Ministry of Environment, Forest, Climate Change (MOEFCC) of India and TATA Motors , TERRE on World Environment Day planted 4000 trees at SmritiVan ( A Forest of Memories) located at the helmet in the heart of city of Pune. Hon’ble Minister Prakash Javadekar, launched the project by planting a tree in presence of thousands of enthusiastic urbanites.

For the first time in the history, according to UN report, half of the world population already live in the cities and by 2050 it will be 70 percent. “Forest lands in urban areas need to be converted into green cover with public participation” said Mr. Javadekar. Earlier, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in New Delhi launched the nation wide ‘Urban Forestry’ project. Urban forest lands in the cities in India will be converted into forest land under the project . Maharashtra State forest minister Mr. Mungantiwar also urged people to take the initiative to plant & grow more trees to help ourselves.

 “ Urban forests will be the essential lungs of the cities and would provide wide range of ecosystem services like clean the air and water, temper floods, provide water and food, and conserve biodiversity”, stated Rajendra Shende , Chairman of TERRE.” The breadth of ecosystem services provided by nature is often undervalued if we consider reduction in noise noise , increase physical and psychological wellbeing, regulate the local climate, sequester CO2, and provide renewable energy”, he added. TERRE Policy Centre urged people to be a part of the mission by planting trees in memory of their beloved.

The site of Smritivan at Warje, Pune is the land under forest department. The total land of 60 Hectors is now reduced to only 16 hectors due to encroachment . The hill which was barren, now has been flourishing with trees. The 1st stage of plantation was done on Jan 2015 and 2nd stage included plantation on 6th June.

Urban forestry is the aggregation of all vegetation and green spaces within urban areas. The main aim of the urban forestry is to provide recreation to the urban people, to decrease the pollution hazard in urban environment and to create the awareness about the nature & environment. It includes multi managerial system such as watershed management, landscape designing, urban park, industrial shelter bed, urban composites and wilderness trial.

Due to industries, vehicles, urban environment is highly polluted. The tree cover in urban acts as the carbon sink which absorbs greenhouse gases like CO2 and many other industrial effluents. Apart from this urban green cover helps to prevent soil erosion, help ground water recharge and augment water conservation, decrease temperature, improve air quality.

Along with environmental benefits, urban forestry also social benefits . Urban forestry provides employments to local people. It supports livestock, augments human nutrition. Urban forestry reduces the adverse impacts of pollution on human health physically & mentally, ultimately it helps improving the human working capacity. END


Indian Monsoon : DeFacto Finance Minister of India!

Monsoon Dr. Sabale
While Finance Minister in New Delhi presents India’s finance budget by end of February every year, the real finance minister who is also minister of oceans, skies and soil, starts presenting its budget some time in June every year. (more…)


Earth Day-Giving Back to Mother

Earth Day 2015 Most of the international days are first declared in United Nations General Assembly. Earth Day of 22 April , is however, one of those days that have emerged through ‘United Peoples’ global assembly. (more…)


An uncomfortable relationship-divorce or reconciliation?

RDV March 2015

Switching-on lights in your room would affect the life of tribal-women far away. Export of sugar is not only sweet trade. It is also trade in fresh water. (more…)


Talking and Listening to the Future


Youth are the representatives of our common future. Listening to them is the seminal need of today. TERRE Launched new Initiative in partnership with educational institutes. (more…)


With India’s Federal Minister Suresh Prabhu, giving awards for Sustainable Leadership

With Suresh Prabhu

21 Industry Leaders including ITC, HPCL, Kirloskar Oil Engines, Schneider Electric and ITC Windsor felicitated at the Parivartan Sustainability Leadership Awards 2014



Javadekar finally makes it to London Film Festival of TERRE

Lawadekar London

TERRE and Sanskriti organized Environmental Film Festival. Interesting article by Prasun Sonwalkar of  Hindustan Times



London International Film Festival Hosted by TERRE and Sanskruti

Invitation CardLondon EFF
London International Environmental Film Festival .
Hosted by multi-location TERRE Policy Centre who is partner with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and London-based Sanskruti Centre. The Venue is Digital Theatre, London.12-13 September 2014. The event is supported by Earth Care Award of JSW Foundation.
Hon Prakash Jawadekar, Minsiter of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Information and Broadcasting would speak via video in inauguration.
Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under-Secretary will render the inaugural address on 12th September for State and junior Minister for Energy and Climate Change. Eminent speakers Sally Case, Chief Executive of David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and Rajendra Shende, former Director of United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) will also be speaking on the occasion. Films ranging about 5-14 minutes each in duration and connected to the Environment and impact of Climate Change on communities, biodiversity and culture will be screened. Films include Melting of Himalayas, Leopards in the Lurch, the Silenced Witness, The Last Dance etc. by acclaimed directors like Kalpana Subrahmanian, Ashima Narain, Gurmeet Sapal and Sonya Kapoor.

Guests (on both days) must be present by 5.30 pm. Drinks/light snacks are available.
Please RSVP
Ragasudha Vinjamuri , Academic Tutor, University of Sunderland, Fellow, Royal Society of Arts, Director, Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence
“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon”- ― Paul Brandt


Improving Cookstoves need human face : TERRE’s Policy recommendations

Cook stoves

“ Improving the bio-mass based cook stoves used by more than 2 billion bottom-of-the-pyramid people globally is not a merely technology issue. It needs human face”, said Rajendra Shende Chairman of TERRE, India (more…)


Energy Efficient low-GWP Room and Mobile Air-Conditioning

Pune round table

  • ASHRAE -Pune Chapter, IGSD , TERRE, and other organizations,  interacted and agreed to continue dialogue with RAMA, BEE, Government of India on Energy Efficiencies , TEWI/LCCP for the alternatives for RAC and MAC.


Shunya ( Zero) ready to shine

Team Shunya

Team Shunya from IIT Bombay has been selected for Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 in France, where the students will build the solar house for the Indian middle class.TERRE is knowledge partner. (more…)


Forgotten Opportunity to Reduce Global warming


Rajendra Shende, Chairman TERRE Policy Centre was in the Steering Committee of the project of preparing a report which analyses the sources of N2O, its quantities, future projections and ways to reduce its emissions, its cost and benefits.  (more…)


Malala Speaks as Action Starts in remote town in India

Malala at UN

We realize the importance of light when we see darkness”, said Malala Yousafzai, today while speaking at United Nations in New York.  On the same day,12th July, TERRE Policy Centre and Barefoot Power India commissioned a solar charging station, in Kanyashala ( girl’s school ) in tiny town of Rahimatpur. (more…)


World Heritage and Sustainable Local Development

World Heritage and Local development COMPACT

Though they have defined boundaries, World Heritage sites are very much a part of the communities in which they are located. As such, they provide rich opportunities to develop and promote effective models for integrating compatible human uses with the protection of ecosystem functions and biodiversity.

World Heritage sites have the potential to show- case the effective integration of sustainable local development with conservation by demonstrating how conservation can contribute to local and national economic development, culture, and pride.

TERRE Policy Centre has undertaken to work in the Western Ghats of India in its northern cluster to demonstrate that without development conservation is not possible and sustained conservation needs sustainable development of local communities. READ Updated Report Card as of June 2013.



Small First Steps to begin the Long March

Grama Sabha in Kasai Devi temple

Grama Sabha in Kasai Devi temple

Small Progress with Big Prospects

World Natural Heritage Kaas Plateau

Within a space of less than one year, a small and symbolic progress made by the local community around Kaas Plateau –one of the 39 sites in the Western Ghats of India that is inscribed by UNESCO as World Natural Heritage- goes on to support the doctrine that Heritage sites can be leveraged for the sustainable development of the local com m unities.

UNESCO during the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in 2012 targeted communication campaign, with a focus on World Heritage linked to the Sustainable Development and the Role of Local Communities.

With Local MLA and legislators

With Local MLA and legislators

TERRE Policy Centre along with RANWATA and the local community took the challenge in association with the local forest officers to make a small beginning towards leveraging the Heritage site for sustainable development. We strongly believe that sustainably developed community can conserve the nature in sustainable way.

What follows in this brief report is glimpse of these hopes.