Environmental Sustainability

The Center’s focus on environmental sustainability takes an interdisciplinary approach, integrating scientific mapping, testing, and solutions with human use and lived experience studies. Our 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. The Center’s 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, the Center supports 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, the Center has 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. Partnering with the Earth Institute, the Center launched a seminar series that leverages the scientific expertise of Columbia’s faculty for building conceptual and methodological capacity among college teachers in India. In addition to education programs, the Center also supports 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 amongst the worst in the world, and universal access to clean drinking water and waste management are major challenges. The Center supports public awareness programs and projects that bring research and technical solutions to explore energy, air and water quality, and waste issues.