Regional Coordinator for South Asia
Based in India. Neema has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science and a post- graduate diploma in Wildlife Management. She is a member of Kalpavriksh (an ICCA Consortium Member) and has been working on issues related to governance, management and conservation of biological diversity in India for the past decade, with a particular focus on documenting and popularizing ICCAs. She has helped the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) draft a set of guidelines for identifying and supporting Community Conserved Areas in India. She is one of the coordinators of the Conservation and Livelihoods Group within Kalpavriksh and is actively involved in policy analysis and lobbying. Her focus is on appropriate changes in the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Indian Forest Act 1927, Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006, and other relevant acts, policies, and government orders pertaining to ecosystem conservation and local livelihoods. She has authored and co-authored a number of books, and has conducted research and written articles and papers on Protected Areas, community-based conservation, and the relationship between decentralization and conservation. Neema has organized workshops and held consultations at the level of the South Asia region, at national levels, and at local levels, for a variety of actors, on issues of local governance, self-rule, and Community Conserved Areas.