We envision an Academy of 'reciprocal impacts' with emphasis on conservation science, and more broadly, sustainability science. Our vision is to foster a new generation of practitioners and leaders who have innovative ideas, interdisciplinary habits of mind, collaborative outlook, and the commitment to apply their knowledge to resolve environmental and sustainability dilemmas. Our goal is to train professionals to develop and use new tools, to think about whole systems, and to apply their learning as directly and immediately as possible.
The Academy for Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies at ATREE will thus focus on five key leadership groups: doctoral students, teachers at colleges and schools, professionals from NGOs and government, community leaders, and college and high school students. By teaching and training these target groups, we can exponentially increase our impacts in the field. The courses and the overall approach of the Academy are designed to have a multiplier effect.
The field academies serve to take the learning out of textbooks and into local contexts. The field academies, or community-based conservation centres - CCCs - at Natham, Agasthyamalai, Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRT WLS), Male Mahadeshwara Hills (MM Hills), Kanakpura, and the Community Environment Resource Centre (CERC) at Vembanad strengthen the practical aspects of conservation - in both natural and social science perspectives. They provide a long-term interface with communities and community leaders, as well as resident government and non-government partners, and help develop mature partnerships at local levels.
Capacity building works at various levels - with community bodies, government stakeholders and NGOs, with researchers and students building understanding in disciplines other than the ones that they work in. ATREE offers courses that train, strengthen understanding, develop skills and promote awareness among stakeholders. ATREE conducts these trainings and workshops in partnership with the most experienced practitioners and partners, thereby making these resources accessible to stakeholders.