“Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand, that fiddled while the planet burned?”
~ Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General
The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will protect it! Why are we losing our natural habitats at such a worrying pace? What are some of the main triggers causing the destruction? Here are some key facts that highlight the root of the issue:
Cut forests are considered commercially more valuable than standing forests
Net Present Value of a plantation is $5,000 to $17,000 per hectare v/s $2,750 for a forest - McKinsey
Every human on this planet has a sizeable carbon footprint
At the moment there are limited offset models available. The world generates 2.01* billion tonnes of waste annually
85% of humanity lives in countries that run an ecological deficit - a negative intergenerational equity
We are running out of earth!
110+ countries have signed up to reduce their net carbon emissions to zero by 2050
Taken as a whole, the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time
The Protectors of the forests (NGO’s, indigenous people, Governments) v/s the Consumers of the forests (Agriculture, Timber, Animal husbandry, etc)
A vast gap in technology, capital markets and management practices make the odds incredibly imbalanced
We are not qualified environmentalists, scientists or technologists. But since when have technical qualifications been the determinant of conviction and resolve? Sometimes all it takes to make a change is to care. Here’s our story
Having worked in large corporate organisations all our lives, a successful career has been the centre of our existence ever since our early adulthood. Along the way, we were blessed to raise a beautiful family and live a perfectly conventional life. As we travelled the world, we've been struck equally by the amazing diversity of our planet and the environmental impact of our lifestyles. As a result, we became more conscious about the environmental impact of our everyday choices. We began composting kitchen waste, growing vegetables in our garden, avoiding plastic and recycling as much as possible. However, the more actions we took, the more we felt inadequate. We realised that our current lifestyles, no matter how environmentally conscious, are at odds with a flourishing planet. As we saw our children grow, we were often plagued by the question – is this the world we wish to leave behind for them? The challenge was to strike a balance, and we were struggling to find answers!
Things changed in the summer of 2019 when we visited the Sacred Forests of Mawphlang in Meghalaya, India. Not far from the urban capital city of Shillong, this beautiful 192-acre forest represents an age-old tradition of environmental conservation based on indigenous knowledge, culture and social beliefs. Our guide escorted us barefoot into this beautiful Sacred Grove, introducing us to a natural wonder of biodiversity, home to a multitude of endemic and endangered flora and fauna. He informed us that the Mawphlang Sacred Forest is guarded by one strict rule – ‘NOTHING is allowed to be taken away – not even a leaf, stone or flower'. His passionate belief in the respect and preservation of nature is the inspiration behind our purpose and our brand. The local community, despite their limited means, contributes financially and emotionally to keep the forests in their natural state. This reassures us that common people all over the world can contribute to protecting our natural legacy.
Join us in our journey to protect our natural habitats. Take small everyday actions to live a life more attuned with nature. We are confident that a group of inspired people who care, can together make a difference. Our planet needs our support. The choice is yours, can we inspire you to make a meaningful difference?
Our values inspire us with the resolve that the EARTH is what we all have in common and a treasure for our next generation.
Finding sustainable solutions to big problems
Use the latest technologies and management practices to connect people and the planet
Value communities and enable them to prosper
Do the right things in the interest of all
Inform proactively to enable trusted relationships
Dr. AK Jha joined the Indian Forest Service in 1980 and superannuated as Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Director General (Social Forestry) of Maharashtra, India. A highly learned professional, he holds degrees in MSc. Physics, MA Sociology, Diploma in Environmental Management, and a PhD. in Social Sciences.
In addition to working for the protection and conservation of forests, wildlife and biodiversity at various levels in the forestry sector; he worked as CITES Management Authority at Mumbai and also headed the Tribal Research and Training Institute of Maharashtra as Commissioner in the Tribal Development Department.
Dr Jha has received numerous awards such as the prestigious National e-Governance award (Silver) for use of geoinformatics, Brandis award for writing on forestry, and has authored three books apart from publishing more than fifty articles. He is member of CEM, IUCN; Chairman of the Techno Legal Advisory Committee of Maharashtra Biodiversity Board; senior legal advisor to the Environment Law Defence Firm (ELDF), New Delhi; expert member of the Committee on FRA Implementation, Forest Survey of India; and Founder Trustee of the Global Enviro Legal Services Foundation apart from being member of various other committees. A member of Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, he engages himself in conservation and legal issues related to forestry, wildlife, biodiversity, tribal development, and spiritual ecology.
Yasser is a Partner based in the Dubai office of UK-headquartered global law business, DWF. His practice is primarily focused on project finance and construction for infrastructure projects, conventional and Islamic corporate finance, private equity placements and mergers and acquisitions.
Yasser has been instrumental in advising stakeholders on projects within the GCC and further afield with an aggregate value in excess of US$10 billion. His focus on a sustainable future has been borne out of working on several paradigm-shifting solar power projects, three of which set world records for lowest achieved solar tariff.
Yasser looks forward to working together with The Sacred Groves in order to promote a protected environment and sustainable living, all within a rigorous and supportive legal framework.
Prashanti is a software development professional with an in-depth experience in transforming large software enterprise-wide systems. A gold medallist in Software Development, Prashanti has had an illustrious career in leading global organisations such as Oracle, Credit Suisse and Honeywell. She has had extensive experience in managing scale with teams across geographies (Oracle, Honeywell) and has successfully set up large software development centres (Honeywell).
During her free time, she writes, cooks/bakes, cycles, does gardening and plays the piano. She has published two best-selling children's books called The Core Fulcrum and The Cerulean Monarch.
Her experience in software development goes hand-in-hand with her passion towards nature and the environment. The Sacred Groves is a platform where technology meets action for reversing climate change and she is keen on making an impact.
Abhishek brings with him a passion for innovation through technology. He has been living this dream for over 20 years; starting with being a founding member of the Analytics Center of Competence at McKinsey & Co. in India and subsequently co-founding a boutique analytics driven advisory firm Sutra Management Consultancy LLC and an AI startup Effiya Technologies PTE Ltd.
He has worked with over 100 clients on various topics across industries spanning over five continents. As a Co-author of several papers in scientific journals and a couple of patents, he has been regularly contributing to the science fraternity. Being a nature enthusiast, he has been closely associated with the idea of Sacred Groves and helping The Sacred Groves innovate through the application of satellite imaging, computer vision and allied technologies. As an Advisor, his expertise on advanced analytics will further enhance Sacred Groves’ capability of measuring and positively amplifying its climate change impact via protection of natural habitats.
In his free time, he likes to listen to music, play badminton and explore nature trails.
Kamal operates at the intersection of communications, leadership, talent development, marketing, and growth. He combines rigor with empathy, creativity with excellence in craft, experience and skill with curiosity and a passion for continuous education and life-long learning.
With over four decades of experience in the Middle East and North America, Kamal has led teams in 10 countries across MENA, the US and Canada driving business growth, talent development, communication excellence, creative reputation building and bottom-line growth for regional and multinational organizations, mostly serving in senior management and C-Suite positions for Leo Burnett, Euro RSCG and Publicis Communications. His assignments often required heavy lifting, creativity, perseverance and modelling through leadership by example.
With equal passion, Kamal is committed to giving back, and has served as an adjunct instructor at the American University of Dubai, lecturing on integrated marketing communications and advertising. Today, he provides support to the AUD Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center as a guest lecturer, speaker, and trainer. He serves as a mentor for Endeavor and for Cartier Women’s Initiative.
We love to hear about other people who are striving to make a positive difference to our planet. We hope you enjoy reading them.