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Conservationist, The Shola Trust

Date & Time

Tuesday Tue, 20 Feb 2024


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

India is uniquely positioned in the world in terms of how we are the most populous and also one of the most biodiverse countries. This apparent tension between conserving biodiversity and ensuring safety and food security of people has been resolved, in part, through our ability to share space with nature around us. The diverse spectrum of interactions and impacts arising out of shared spaces between people and wildlife is what we broadly refer to as Coexistence.

In this talk, we take you on a journey across this spectrum where on one end we have cases of extreme hostility towards certain wildlife while the other end portrays religious and cultural reverence towards wild animals despite significant costs to people. We draw on stories and case studies from across India that represent various landscapes, communities, and species to make a case for Coexistence as a strategy to reconcile economic and ecological security.

In collaboration with Coexistence Consortium


Tarsh Thekaekara

Conservationist, The Shola Trust

Tarsh Thekaekara is a researcher-conservationist with a keen interest in more human-inclusive models of nature conservation. He co-founded The Shola Trust in 2008 and The Real Elephant Collective, a social enterprise, in 2015. He is affiliated with Dakshin Foundation and the National Centre for Biological Sciences.

His area of research and intervention includes work on Lantana camara, primarily focusing on how local communities can utilize the invasive plant in various ways. He is particularly interested in understanding how people and elephants share space, and strives to find ways to minimize negative interactions between them.

While most of his work is concentrated in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve across Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka, Tarsh is also passionate about promoting human-wildlife coexistence at national and global scales.