The Earth Trust is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to regenerating and reviving the Nilgiris ecosystem in the Western Ghats, India. Established in 2004, our initiatives focus on creating sustainable livelihoods by improving organic and natural farming practices, women's health and wellness, and environmental education. 

THE CRISIS

Globally, human-driven climate change is fuelling weather extremes- from record droughts to massive floods -that are hammering key agricultural regions around the world.

The current food system supports the livelihoods of over one billion people world - wide. By 2050, the world’s population will have increased by one-third, with the highest increase occurring in developing countries. Agricultural production will have to grow by 60 per cent to meet needs.

Locally, a total of 2545 square kilometres of the Nilgiris Biosphere, 56% is natural vegetation. Out of the 30% that is cultivated, 95% is rain fed. Around 93% of the land holdings are small and marginal covering approximately over 36% of the cultivated area. There are over 80000 farmers. Almost all of them do chemical farming. 42% of India's Districts use 85% of its chemical fertilisers. Just a couple of years ago, 6738 MT Fertilisers, 198 MT of dust Pesticide, 138 MT of liquid pesticide and 5448 MT of Urea were used in The Nilgiris District.

 

Women commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of climate change.

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OUR PURPOSE

To create viability and well-being in rural communities and landscape of The Nilgiris Ecosystem.

OUR VISION

To create a community network of individuals who brings back living water and soil through sustainable practices. 

OUR MISSION

- Enable a community of farmers to practice established organic and natural farming methods.

- Support women to create vibrant and abundant communities by giving them tools to enhance their financial status in society.

- Bring back a deep awareness in young minds about the web of life,

and our inter-connectedness with nature. 

GENESIS OF
THE EARTH TRUST

Around 1987, our Founder Ms. Vanya Orr accompanied her mother who was on a nostalgic trip, revisiting her childhood homes in India. She came to Doddabetta, Nilgiris, which became the catalyst for a return visit. The Forest Department requested Vanya to act as an interface between them and the people of Doddabetta village who lived on the edge of a State Reserve Forest. She set up H.O.P.E. at Dodabetta and trained villagers to grow herbs and distill essential oils. It is a thriving co-operative now. Vanya’s deep concerns over environmental health spurred her into setting up EARF (Environment and Agri Research Foundation). She set up a nursery in a small piece of leased land, trained farmers with different methods of organic and natural farming. This over the years evolved into an integrated approach that unites for Organic farming, Health and Skill Development for women and the ecological awareness for middle school children. Many years of working with the community through these initiatives led to the formation of The Earth Trust as a not-for–profit public charitable Trust in  2004. 

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“That there will be clear water flowing from the streams of Nilgiris without poison… that everyone will have their place; animals will have their place, and people will have their place.” I smile and tell her it sounds good. She says, “It is possible, you see, it’s possible.”

 

- Vanya Orr, Founder, The Earth Trust