FERAL: Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning

Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning

How Foundations can Support FERAL

There are a number of areas where we require long term support in order to achieve a lasting impact. These straddle projects where a corpus could support payments to farmers and private land owners in lieu of them adopting conservation measures and reforestation. Our education and outreach work would also benefit greatly from long term support to sustain training activities at our campus. A third area where a reliable stream of funding would help is to attract interns and volunteers to work on short term projects affiliated to ongoing research. This would allow us to reach out to a wider range of young researchers and build the organisation.

Payments for Habitat Restoration and Conservation

We are among a handful of agencies who have successfully evolved and demonstrated mechanisms by which private land owners can profitably partner in conservation. The challenge however, is to sustain these projects and expand to critical habitats so as to maximise their conservation impacts. To do so we would like to build a corpus through which we could sustain payments to our partners – farmers who own land adjoining critical habitats and corridors. To learn more, please visit the project pages on Bridging the Shencottah Gapfunctional connectivity for large mammals, and overcoming barriers.

 

Support for Education and Outreach Activities

FERAL has a long history of enabling development professionals, conservationists and researchers to make use of technologies and techniques which otherwise would be out of reach. We do this by designing and running courses which address crucial gaps in formal and informal training on tools and techniques. This includes topics such as geographical information systems, field methods in conservation and environmental sciences as well as participatory methods. Most of these courses are taught through hands on workshops whose participants directly apply the tools to vulnerability mapping, livelihood analysis, habitat assessments and environmental surveys. Please visit our numerous events which summarise our outreach and training effort. The majority of these workshops are conducted at our small campus located just outside Pondicherry at a village called Morattandi. Many of these courses are hosted on-line at our Moodle course management site. All our training and teaching materials, including the Moodle courses, are available under an open source documentation license. We are looking for support to reduce the costs of these programmes for participants, many of who are from other non-profit organisations or students. Please contact us if you'd like to support the Learning Programme at FERAL. You can do so by:

Sponsoring an event or participants to an event.

  • You can sponsor a specific event such as a workshop or course covering a specific topic. We typically run three to five day workshops, but two week workshops are occasionally held as well.
  • You can sponsor one or more participants to attend our workshops.
  • You can offer to cover the travel costs of participants. This is extremely useful for those who travel long distances to attend workshops and is a repeated request from participants who attend conferences such as the SCCS-Bangalore in which we always run one or more workshops.

Supporting interns or staff to help develop and improve courses and online content

Keeping our content updated and modifying it for modern delivery systems such as screen casts and videos is a huge task. You can support this by paying for interns or staff to do so. If there is a specific course you'd like to see updated, or specific materials you'd like us to make available on our course management site - let us know. Please note that the bulk of the materials we have on the course management site is under an open source licence.

Sponsor facilities at our campus

We have a small campus near Pondicherry where many of our training programmes are held. You can help us upgrade this campus by:

  • Helping us shift to solar power. The panels we once had powering our training halls need to be replaced along with the battery and related electronics.
  • Sponsor a capsule - we need to increase the housing at our campus for which we would like to construct more residential units or capsules.

Any of these actions would directly translate into improved skills and capacities of development and conservation professionals and their organisations. Please use this contact form if you'd like to get in touch with us regarding support to our training efforts.

Support for Volunteers and Interns

Any action research organisation grows on the basis of attracting young, energetic talent and the hard work that goes with it. We at FERAL are acutely aware of how much energy and enthusiasm our volunteers and interns inject into the organisation. Unfortunately, we are often compelled to turn down applications by bright youngsters as projects and programmes lack the resources to support them. Many of these interns come to us with their own master's thesis ideas. Often there are small tangential research ideas stemming from ongoing projects. These “mini-projects” could result in a great thesis and/or open up avenues for further research and applications.

We'd be delighted to receive small, but continuous funding support for our volunteers and interns. The stipends that they receive are typically to the tune of INR 20,000.00 (USD 335.00) per month and a typical intern ship lasts four to six months.

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FERAL - once wild, runs wild again.