Ideas in the Making
Keystone has built resource centres across different parts of the NBR and its own office in Kotagiri, acts like a Resource Centre showcasing many aspects of the work. Over the years, aspects of work have grown into new institutions like a Producer Company for adivasis to get better returns and make profit from their NTFP and agriculture produce; an organic marketing initiative spelling out concepts of fair-trade, organic, slow food, PGS etc.; a natural history society to engage all members of society in conservation. The Green Shops and Bee Museum imbibe these values and engage with members of society.
Keystone has been co-ordinating networks across India and the South East Asia region for over a decade. Besides working together conceptually and networking, Keystone has supported the management of large projects. It co-ordinates with NGOs and CBOs across India and facilitates work with financing, technical training and backstopping. This has enriched and inspired us by seeing different issues across rural India and increased our resolve in grassroots action.
After more than two decades of experience, Keystone is poised to take on a larger role in India. The two aspects being launched are the People & Nature Centre and People & Nature Fund. Of these, the People & Nature Fund (PNF) is now a reality and grants have been given to 18 projects across India. More information about PNF can be had here.
People & Nature Centre
This centre will house the themes of biodiversity, landscapes and people. It will be founded in the new campus of the Keystone Foundation, Kotagiri. The centre will house a contemporary museum, offices for resident and visiting scholars and state of the art repositories for natural science and cultural artifacts. The centre will serve to celebrate, perpetuate and preserve the natural heritage of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR). It will serve as a learning centre, attracting students, researchers and people from all walks of life.
Through this endeavour we hope to convey the value of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve, empower educators with information and resources outside of school, and instil a sense of respect and responsibility towards the NBR in future generations.
The model of this centre will be developed and shared with our network partners from other regions of India. Keystone will support and franchise such centres to be set up in key areas of the country which can serve as network hubs and places of innovation and action.
Land for this Centre has been acquired. We are trying to raise resources to build it and house it with treasures from the Nilgiris.