Environmental Sustainability

Our focus on environmental sustainability takes an interdisciplinary approach, integrating scientific mapping, testing, and solutions with human use and lived experience studies. Main areas of focus include:

Sustainable Water Management: 

As the largest consumer of groundwater, India is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. Our work on water addresses issues of water scarcity and groundwater conservation as well as access to clean and decontaminated water for all. Through collaboration with faculty in diverse disciplines, we support public awareness programs, research, student initiatives, and special projects such as the River Ganga project.  


Conserving Biodiversity: 

India’s rich natural heritage is facing immense challenges as the country rapidly urbanizes. Responding to the urgency of conserving biodiversity, we have launched public awareness programs to share knowledge from research and practice. We are also working with the Sunder Nursery project in partnership with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture to develop nature-based outreach and educational programs.


Building Climate Resilience:

Climate change and climate-related disasters constitute an integral area of investigation and education at Columbia University. We have undertaken training programs for building scientific expertise and capacity on Climate Change for key stakeholders including the Government of Maharashtra for its Climate Fellows Program. In addition to education programs, we also support other public awareness programs on climate change and disaster management as well as research projects, including the Cyclone and Storm Surge Risk to Mumbai project.


Clean Land, Energy, Air, and Natural Resources (CLEAN):

Contaminated and polluted natural resources have increased threats to health and quality of life. Air quality in major Indian cities is among the worst in the world, and universal access to clean drinking water and waste management are major challenges. Our public awareness programs and projects bring research and technical solutions to explore energy, air and water quality, and waste issues. We design student initiatives such as Plastics: Retelling the Story of Waste in collaboration with Columbia University’s Office of Undergraduate Global Programs.