Philanthropist Rohini Nilekani has pledged Rs50 crore ($6.8 million) to ATREE (Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment), an environmental think tank based in Bengaluru.
Of the total amount, “Rs25 crore is a direct grant, while the remaining Rs25 crore are matching funds for new grants ATREE raises from other sources”, ATREE said in a statement.
“Now more than ever, we require institutions that serve as an important bridge between academics, civil society and policymakers, bringing insights from long-term research and data to support relevant decision making and shaping public discourse,” said Nilekani. “The gift is a testament to the importance and urgency of ATREE’s work in the face of our multiplying ecological challenges.”
ATREE enters its 25th year of interdisciplinary research focused on carrying out policy-oriented research, outreach, and education in the field of environmental conservation and sustainable development.
“These additional resources will allow ATREE to consolidate and expand our programmes to meet our growing environmental challenges such as the loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, and climate change. These challenges are inextricably linked to the resilience for our future. Already, the pandemic has further exposed our vulnerability to our deteriorating relationship with nature,” said Kamal Bawa, founder, ATREE.
Established in 1996, ATREE’s mission is to generate interdisciplinary knowledge for achieving environmental conservation and sustainable development in a socially just manner, enable the use of this knowledge by policymakers and society, and train the next generation of scholars and leaders.
Rohini Nilekani, founder chairperson of Arghyam, is on the board of trustees of ATREE. She is also the co-founder and director of EkStep, a non-profit education platform. In 2017, along with her husband Nandan Nilekani, she signed the Giving Pledge, which commits half their wealth to philanthropic causes.