Founder and CEO
Swapan is an environmental finance and policy expert, proficient in designing and implementing projects and policy interventions in forestry, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. After completing an Advanced Diploma in Forest Management from Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, he worked with some of the largest carbon finance firms in the world.
In 2009, he set up IORA, an environmental policy advisory group that provides implementable solutions in the areas of carbon finance, forestry and biodiversity conservation and new market mechanisms for emission reduction.
Visioning, strengthening and building sustainable conservation models are his passion. Over the years, he has been involved in conservation and policy intervention issues, especially in the forestry sector, at the grassroots level as well as the national and international levels. This multi-level exposure to key problems allows him to envisage and develop solutions that are holistic and multi-faceted.
Awards and Fellowships:
FICCI Young Business Leader
LEAD International Fellow in 2011
Donella Meadows Fellowship by the Balaton Group
Swapan is a member of:
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
Expert Panel on the JNR Program of VCS
Jury for the UNDP Equator Prize
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study.
He was a technical reviewer of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiatives, a major UN project demonstrating how REDD+ can support a green economy.
Anil Kumar Mehra
Maj Gen A K Mehra, AVSM, VSM (Veteran) served in the Indian Army for 37 years before superannuating in Aug 2007. He has a Master’s Degree in Defence Studies from Madras University and has done M Phil in Defence Studies from Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore. Since 2014 he is one of the Directors in IORA’s Board of Directors. He oversees the HR, Administrative and Financial aspects at IORA
Chhaya is a sustainability strategist with expertise in catalyzing climate action through multi-disciplinary approaches. After working as a media strategist in New York City with some of the world’s largest brands, she joined the renewable energy sector working with One Sun Solar in San Francisco and Lumisolair in New York working on clean tech finance, government & multi-lateral partnerships and technology innovation. Bringing this extensive international experience with her, Chhaya moved back to India to establish Vertiver, a strategic consultancy for climate action and dissemination and joined Swapan to co-found IORA. She is also a co-founder of the NGO, Sanjhi, based in Rajasthan that works on media-based storytelling for environmental action. She holds an MBA in Sustainability and an M.A in Communications and Film from the U.S.
Head – Carbon Market and VP - Corporate Partnerships
Digvijay is a carbon-market expert with over eleven years of industry experience in the identification and commercialization of carbon offsets and CDM projects. He holds a Postgraduate degree in Business Management and Finance from Pune University. He is credited with developing innovative new products like carbon offset backed pre-payment and debt financing. Digvijay has also been involved in originating the transaction of more than 6 million carbon offsets from India.
Prior to joining IORA, he worked with:
EcoSecurities, a global leader in carbon offset development
MF Global, one of the world’s leading commodity brokerage houses, where he headed the carbon offset trading desk for India.
At IORA, Digvijay heads the development of carbon financing strategy for various climate change mitigation projects; with a mission to enable sustainable development by promoting ecosystem conservation, low-carbon technologies and climate change adaptation through customized financing and distribution models.
Vice President – Climate Change
Dr. Sumana Bhattacharya
Dr. Sumana Bhattacharya is working in the area of climate change and environment policy and research for more than two decades now. She is a doctorate in Physics from Department of Physics, University of Delhi.
In IORA, she is currently leading work on assessment of baseline and future emissions with low Carbon strategies, development of MRV tool for assessing Carbon reduction potential of schemes and projects, developing National Adaptation Plans, drafting PDDs for seeking support for adaptation funds, estimating National GHG and other pollutant emission base lines, Establishing GHG inventory management systems, quantifying drivers of deforestation and degradation of forests in various landscapes for REDD+ projects, developing Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks for climate change adaptation projects, designing legal and regulatory frameworks for integrating climate smart disaster risk management across departments, assessing ecosystem services generated due to plantations, and drafting handbooks on SAPCCs for dissemination. These projects are being carried out for the governments of Assam, Sikkim, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Ethiopia, and Guyana and are supported by the MoEFCC, GIZ, GGGI, JCCP, CCIP, APFBC and ONGC. Sumana has also guided intern thesis on low C brick sector in India and drafted policy papers on wood is good and the aviation sector.
Prior to IORA, Sumana worked in IC India, MoEFCC, Asia Pacific Network for Climate Change – Japan, and National Physical Laboratory, India. Some of the significant projects managed and implemented by Sumana while in these organisations were India’s 1st and 2nd National Communications to UNFCCC; a Gold Standard biogas project for WWF; National level GHG and other pollutant emission trends for Industrial process and product use sector for India’s BUR1 and for all sectors for ADB supported ALGAS project; State level low Carbon development policies for Shakti Foundation; rationalising farmer field level interventions to minimise Methane emission from rice production for MIGROS, Switzerland; assessing training needs assessment, developing modules and training for integrating climate change adaptation in planning; drafting State Action Plans on Climate Change for Sikkim, West Bengal, Punjab, Tamilnadu, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Haryana for GIZ; Policy paper on institutional strengthening for adaptation to climate extremes for BASIC project; and developing netCDF data bases for INDOEX .
Sumana has contributed to the development of IPCC 1996 and 2006 guidelines for National GHG inventory development; She was awarded the 1st START young scientist award in 1997 for her work on India specific methane emission factors from rice cultivation. She has carried out a number of in-country and desk based reviews for Annex-1 national GHG inventories for UNFCCC. She is also national advisor for WGIA workshops for Asian countries- an initiative of NIES Japan. Sumana has numerous publications in National and International journals and commissioned papers for various agencies including WRI and MoEFCC amongst others.
Manager - Climate Policy
Sriya holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies under the European Commission’s Erasmus Mundus Programme. Under the programme, she focused on the areas of climate change, clean energy, water and sanitation. During this period, her project work covered a detailed review of the Government of India’s National Biogas and Manure Management Programme and its implementation. She completed her thesis under the Ecological Sanitation Department of the German International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH Headquarters. It assessed the potential of GIZ’s “SANIRESCH” system (an innovative urban sustainable sanitation and wastewater management system) in India.
At IORA, Sriya has been involved in the area of climate change with projects such as the development of India’s first Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) in the Forestry Sector, UNDP-Government of India’s Biodiversity Finance Initiative assessment of private sector investments towards biodiversity in India and mobilization of corporate engagement towards climate adaptation. She also represents IORA as a Lab Advisor for the India Innovation Lab for Green Finance. Prior to joining IORA, Sriya worked at Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, a Delhi based grant-making organization, which aids the design and implementation of policies that encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy in India. As part of the Climate Policy program, Sriya supported its core objective of aiding India’s transition towards a low carbon development pathway. This involved contributing towards program strategy planning; developing and managing grants and contracts; and conducting associated communication and fundraising activities. As part of Shakti’s Climate Policy program, she was involved in the development and management of over 50 projects covering a wide range of thematic areas including policy dialogue, capacity building, research and implementation to support low carbon development in India.
Research Associate – Policy & Governance
Suraj Appaiah Cariappa
Suraj is a Lawyer by profession, and a Policy and Governance expert at IORA. He specialises in Environment and Energy Laws with more than 4 years of experience in Civil Litigation and Legal work (contractual).
Having done his BA, LL.B from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, Uttarakhand; he litigated in Civil Law at Delhi High Court and Tis Hazari District Court (New Delhi). As a student of Law, he conducted researched on various subjects in the energy and environment sectors and closely worked with environmental lawyers and firms in the concerned field. He has side-by-side also worked on reports and researches pertaining to climate change and energy and environmental sustainability issues.
At IORA, Suraj analyzes the prevailing policy structure and governance framework existing in the environment and energy sectors, and accordingly provides inputs for the progression and enhancement of the policy framework in environmental and sustainable development. He conducted policy analysis and research for REDD+ projects especially for the States of Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh. He has also supported formulation of ‘Climate Change Adaptation Plans’ along with Vulnerability Assessments and Gap Analysis for all sectors and regions in the Indian subcontinent; has been a socio-economic expert for Sustainable Agroscape Plan at Munger Bihar (IUCN). He is currently facilitating the ASDMA, Assam Govt. by studying and researching the existing legal provisions and laws under Disaster Management, in order to enhance and develop new legal provisions, regulatory framework and policies to be followed by various departments involved in Disaster Management, Relief and Preparedness.
Rebekah is a Climate Change Adaptation expert working on Adaptation Planning and Finance, Vulnerability Assessments and Impact studies in various sectors like Forestry, Water Resources, Energy, Agriculture, Mountain and Coastal Ecosystems, etc. She also holds an experience in GHG Emission estimations for various sectors.
Rebekah holds a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from the University School of Environment Management (GGSIPU), New Delhi. Prior to joining IORA, Rebekah served as a Research Assistant at Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS), Kathmandu, Nepal, where she was involved in vulnerability studies and formulation of adaptation strategies in higher Himalayas within Nepal. In 2014, as a Research Intern at India Meteorological Department (IMD), New Delhi where she did Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) of thermal power projects in India.
As a Research Associate at IORA, she has supported formulation of ‘Climate Change Adaptation Plans’ along with Vulnerability Assessments and Gap Analysis for all sectors and regions in the Indian subcontinent; assisted development of NAFCC for the State of Telangana (GIZ) and an abstract for SAPCC for the State of Mizoram (GIZ); developed ‘India’s National Green House Gas Inventory for BUR-2 and 3 and third National Communication (NATCOM to UNFCCC) for Indian Railways’; has been a socio-economic expert for Sustainable Agroscape Plan at Munger Bihar (IUCN); have done carbon estimations for the state of Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh under the Forest-PLUS Programme and Monitoring and Evaluation frameworks for the State of Maharashtra (CCIP). She has also assisted in Climate Change Adaptation and Business Investment models and mapped CSR activities of the leading Corporate Enterprises. Recently she is being involved in Climate Studies for ‘National adaptation Plan of Guyana’; Impact assessments and socio-economic assessments for the ongoing Ecosystem based studies for ONGC in the Upper Himalayas.
Shweta is an expert in Climate Change Mitigation. She has an experience of developing GHG Inventory for various sectors and Carbon Neutral Strategies. Besides that, she also hold technical expertise in Natural Resource Assessment.
She holds a Postgraduate degree in Natural Resource Management from the University School of Environment Management, GGSIPU (New Delhi). While pursuing her academics, she interned with WWF (World Wildlife Fund) India for a study on the impact of the floods in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand in 2013 using Remote Sensing and GIS and did her Master’s thesis named ‘The Indian Brick Sector- An assesment of Emission Trends, Low Carbon Emission Scenario and Cost benefits’ at IORA where she mapped Brick kilns (pan India) through the GIS interface and estimated their state-wise GHG emissions and now is a well-known face in the All India Brick Association.
As a Research Associate at IORA, she has developed GHG Inventory for Off Road Transport for NATCOM Cell (BUR and TNC) reporting to UNFCCC; Also, she has been developing Carbon Neutral Strategies for Majuli (Assam) by estimating GHG Emissions from all sectors and suggesting technical strategies to make a Carbon Neutral District further co-assisting development of a web-based Registry tool for the same. She has also given her inputs for abstract development of the SAPCC for the State of Mizoram (GIZ) and Handbook for the State of Maharashtra (CCIP). Besides, she is also involved in carbon estimations and quantifications for Forest-PLUS in Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh and soil and water assessments for the ecosystem based studies to be conducted for ONGC.
Senior Manager - Forestry & Ecosystem Services
Ashwin is an expert in the field of climate change, forestry and sustainable development. He is a member of the Afforestation/Reforestation Working Group at UNFCCC and has served as a panel member of the Climate Smart Agriculture program under the Gold Standard. Ashwin, a qualified QMS (ISO 9001:2008), EMS (ISO 14001:2004) and Carbon neutrality auditor, has done his M.Sc. in Forestry (Management and Economics) from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.
At IORA, Ashwin leads projects on carbon forestry and ecosystem valuation. He is a key team member of the REDD+ strategy design, development and implementation; REDD+ methodology development; ecosystem valuation and associated innovative financial mechanisms on conservation of nature; and development of NAMAs for India’s forestry sector. He leads REDD+ project design development in different landscapes where his team is developing cutting edge tools to help in efficient, effective and transparent implementation, monitoring and management of projects; ‘green and smart landscape’ being the moto.
Ashwin comes with vast experience in carbon forestry; he is a key member of a majority of these projects in India – spanning CDM, VCS, REDD and methodology development. He was the Team Lead for the first forestry CER issuance from Asia (ITC Forestry Project), Technical Reviewer of first forestry issuance from Africa (Ethiopia), Technical Reviewer of second forestry issuance from South America (Colombia) and Team Lead of first voluntary forestry issuance from India (Prakash Industries), 2nd CDM forestry issuance from India (MTPL), Himachal Pradesh A/R CDM issuance, and validation and verification team member of PACL forestry project in Orissa. He has also advised TERI on ten A/R projects that they are developing in Uttar Pradesh. As a forestry and climate change specialist, he has worked as a project and concept design developer and GHG technical auditor. He has validated and verified projects in forestry, renewable energy, MSW, agriculture etc. He has worked on decentralized energy efficiency in rural landscapes, such as, biogas projects developed by WWF in Nepal, and treadle water-pump project in eastern India. He was also involved in the MSW projects in Shillong& Kozhikode.
Prior to joining IORA, he was with TÜV Nord as a Lead Assessor of carbon projects over-seeing forestry, carbon services and sustainable business models. As a research associate at the Institute of Global Warming and Ecological Studies, Noida, he was involved in teaching, training, research and consultancy in the field of climate change and energy. Ashwin has also attended certificate programs at the United Nations Institute (UNITAR) on Negotiating Climate Change Finance and Understanding International Contracts and Loan Agreements and at the World Bank Institute on “Sustainable Agricultural Land Management Projects: Soil Carbon Monitoring.
Project Manager – Forestry
Zainab has a sound knowledge and experience spanning six years in the field of forestry, biodiversity, and climate change. She has expertise in developing forestry, biodiversity and clean energy projects. She has developed projects under CDM, VCS, PES and Plan Vivo. She has worked on innovative environmental and climate change mitigation concepts. She has done Masters in Environment Management from the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.
As a Project Manager in IORA, Zainab is involved in the development of various forestry and biodiversity conservation strategies and projects including India’s first REDD+ project. She is engaged in developing several carbon sequestration and emission reduction projects under A/R CDM and REDD+ with USAID, TERI and GIZ. These projects aim to conserve forests and produce long-term, verifiable voluntary emission reductions, improve rural livelihood through sustainable management of resources, and help in developing climate change mitigation activities. She has carried out an exploratory study on “Payments for Agrobiodiversity Conservation Services” model with Bioversity International to use markets to reward conservation and proliferation of Mango diversity in India, and in generating livelihood opportunities for poor farmer communities, strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships in resource management to reduce degradation of biodiversity and reducing climate vulnerability of species.
Prior to joining IORA, she worked with Agrinergy Consultancy Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai and Institute of Green Economy, New Delhi.
Chethan is a B.Tech in Instrumentation Technology from Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology, Bangalore. He also pursued an Honors Diploma in Network Centered Computing and a course on Quality Management Program at NIIT. He has efficient working knowledge on MS Office, Computer networks Knowledge, Windows and Linux and Office Administration.
Chethan is a pro-active self-starter who can operate both individually and as part of a team. He has proven expertise in applicable regulatory and statutory standards of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Gold Standard (GS) project development (including developing Project Design Document, validation of PDD, monitoring of CDM projects and conducting surveys); strategic thinking; proven customer relationship management skills; good coordinating skills across regions; good report writing, communication, presentation and negotiation skills.
Prior to joining IORA, he served as a CDM facilitator at Fair Climate Services Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore. His primary responsibility at FCN was to scan and analyze baseline situation; train and assist the client staff in collecting demographic data to quantify potential emission reductions that can be generated; develop project concept note and explain the CDM and GS process to clients; develop the monitoring and verification protocol as per the methodology requirements; conduct Gold Standard stakeholder meetings; design Project Design Document (PDD) and GS reports and submit to GHG Auditors (DOE). He also interacted with DOEs and assisted in the actual validation of PDD and GS reports through site visits, desk reviews, office meetings and proper documentation submissions, and assisted clients to obtain the Host Country Approval. As a Network Manager with TATA Communications, Bangalore, he ensured smooth operations and maintenance of communication networks, provided operational support to clients as well as planned, requisitioned and accounted for spares required for maintenance and carrying out post installation site audits. He also worked as a Banking Officer with ICICI Bank.
Senior Research Associate
Abhijit is a Postgraduate in Environmental Economics from the Madras School of Economics. At IORA, Abhijit is involved in various projects concerned with REDD+ and biodiversity conservation strategies across various landscapes in India.
Prior to joining IORA, Abhijit had been associated with the Centers for International Projects Trust, Columbia Water Center – India in New Delhi where he was involved in undertaking research in areas of sustainable agricultural practices, rural livelihoods, groundwater management, and developing water sustainability plans for industries. He has also worked with the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), MoEFCC, GoI based out of Chennai, where he worked on economic valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services in India. During this time, he also provided research assistance in the development of the State of Environment Report for Tamil Nadu (2016).
He has published papers and articles in national and international journals on coastal and wetland ecosystem services, dynamic material flow analysis of metal trade as well as international climate change negotiations.
Vice President - Forestry
Dr. Saurindra Goswami
Dr. Goswami has done his Ph.D. from Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Gauhati University, Assam. He pursued his M.Sc. Forestry (Tree Improvement & Genetic Resources) at the Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture &Forestry, Nauni, India.
Prior to joining IORA, Dr. Goswami served as an Assistant Professor of Forestry at the Fiji National University, CAFF – Koronivia Campus (2012-2016). He led research projects concerning local forestry issues in Fiji as a Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator, addressing topics like capacity building of landowners on community forestry for livelihood development in Viti Levu; studies on the utilization of African Tulip (Spathodea campinulata) in the Fiji Islands; evaluating the growth of artificially regenerated Santalum yasi in the nursery at Koronivia; study of the insect biodiversity and population dynamics of some insect pests using Light Trap in the ecosystems of Suva Region in Fiji; studies on the bio-ecology and management of some major insect pests of economically important agricultural crops and trees, etc. He also served as a faculty member at DIBNS, Dehradun, India (2010-2011); People’s Science Institute, Dehradun, India (2008-2010); Dimoria College Khetri (under GU), Assam, India (1998-2008).
Dr. Goswami was engaged as a Senior Individual Consultant (Medicinal & Aromatic Plants) for the Uttarakhand Livelihood Improvement Project for the Himalayas and Uttarakhand Parvatiya Aajeevika Sambardhan Company, Department of Rural Development, Government of Uttarakhand in 2011-12. He was also a key expert to the Center for Excellence on Environment Education, supported by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, GoI for developing 50 Village Contingency Plans from a disaster risk reduction perspective for the earthquake that hit the Kashmir region in 2011.
He has extensive forestry field work and research experience across the country. He coordinated the development of a Comprehensive District Agriculture Plan for Tehri Garhwal in 2010; facilitated Sustainable Mountain Livelihoods Plans for Himalayan rural farmers residing in 30 villages in 2010; conducted Monitoring & Evaluation of WDP for 45 watersheds in Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh in 2010; and restored rubber cultivation in abandoned shifting cultivated fallows in the Dimoria tribal belt of Assam.
Dr. Goswami has more than 19 publications in various international and national level journals on local forestry issues. He has also presented research papers in international, regional and national conferences. He is the Founder President of United Mass Movements for Eco-friendly & Equitable Development, India.
Senior Manager- Forestry
Dr. Satvant Kaur Saini
Dr. Saini holds aDoctorate in Biosciences and Masters in Zoology from Pt. Ravishankar University, Raipur. She holds another Masters in Ecology and Environment from Sikkim Manipal University. In 1989, she was awarded with the Young Scientist Award of Madhya Pradesh CST. She has over 22 years of research experience in forestry related subjects including forest resource assessment in-situ, floral and faunal studies of various PAs, development of sustainable harvesting techniques in natural forests with active community participation, development of a model for rural and tribal livelihood by adopting sustainable harvesting of resources in natural forests and EIA and EMP of various developmental projects. She has also worked for wildlife habitat evaluation and habitat viability assessment for reintroduction of wildlife.
Prior to joining IORA, Dr. Saini worked with the State Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh)in various capacities. She has published more than 35 research papers reflecting community participation, forestry mitigation options for areas being diverted for various developmental projects, forest conservation, medicinal plants, NTFPs, resource assessment, floral and faunal studies, afforestation and reforestation opportunities and Joint Forest Management Program in India.
Manager – Forestry
Akhilesh holds a Master’s degree in Forestry (Economics & Management) from the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. He is a qualified ISO 9001:2008 quality management systems auditor, qualified for Better Sugarcane Initiative audits and has qualified the ICAR- NET for Forestry and Environmental Sciences.
At IORA, Akhilesh is engaged in project management for the Jurisdictional REDD+ program that is being implemented for the first time in India. He is looking after the technical inputs, field work, coordination and other activities in the state of Sikkim. He is also involved in the quantification of drivers of deforestation and forest degradation for the development of the India specific REDD+ methodology in collaboration with GIZ – India. As a part of his duties, he provides technical inputs, conducts field works and coordinates activities as and when required.
Prior to joining IORA, Akhilesh worked with Scientific Certification Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd. as Deputy Manager in the Natural Resources Division, where he was auditor for the Forest Stewardship Council Forest Management program. He was also a part of the implementation of the National Mission for Green India in the Golaghat District of Assam, in which he was involved in the planning of micro plans for 20 JFMCs with respect to climate change mitigation and adaptation interventions including a long-term perspective plan. He was involved in the monitoring and evaluation of Project Elephant in Meghalaya in 2009-2014 and performance evaluation of the Climate Change Adaptation – North Eastern Region program run by MoDONER and GIZ – India in Sikkim.
Manager – Forestry
Amit has more than 7 years of experience spanning across domains of e-Governance, Banking and Finance in IT. He has completed his PGDFM from Indian Institute of Forest Management after his B.E. in Computer Science. He has also obtained Certificates of Excellence with top grades for the IARC Centre for United Nation’s COP 21 Climate Change Program and RIO+22 UN Sustainable Energy. He started his career as a Software Engineer with iGate Global Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and later worked with Fidelity Investments India. His last assignment was with BSEDC Ltd where he worked as a Project lead. Currently Amit is associated with IORA as a Manager-Forestry.
Beyond his regular assignments, he has also assisted in initial staging, testing, and rollout of a software application developed for automation of compliance communication and progress monitoring of various schemes run by the Forest Department as a Pro-bono Consultant for the Forest Department (Belagavi Circle, Karnataka), Belgaum. He was a Panel member in the National Convention on Innovations in Green Highways.
During his summer internship with environment Sector ‐ National Green Highways Mission, NHAI, he jointly reviewed existing methodologies for carbon sequestration assessment and developed a scientific methodology based on CDM guidelines for assessing carbon sequestration potential along the National Highways(NH), in addition to estimating the existing carbon stocks of plantation along the NHs. He also provided recommendations and scope for further research in this direction.
Senior Research Associate
Mr. Ankit Rawat, Forestry and GIS coordinator, IORA Solutions, is Masters in Geo information Science and Earth observation with specialization in “Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Management” from Indian Institute of Remote Sensing and University of Twente (ITC) the Netherlands, Joint Education programme. He did his Graduation in Forestry Science from HNB Garhwal University Uttarakhand. He has been extensively engaged with ‘’community forestry’ in India and South-East Asia particularly in Cambodia.
At IORA, Ankit is involved in various projects concerned with REDD+ and biodiversity conservation strategies across various landscapes in India. He is primarily engaged with quantification of historical baseline emission using remote sensing and GIS, identification of drivers of deforestation and degradation for forest, etc. He is also a key team member of UNDP sponsored Programme “Impact of invasive species on forest ecosystem in the state of Sikkim”; IUCN funded project “Developing Sustainable Agriscapes for Future” in Munger District of Bihar; providing field level support as a Forest Inventory Specialist for the study entitled “Assessing Ecosystem Services created due afforestation activities of ONGC of Ringal Bamboo in Upper Himalayas”
Prior to joining IORA, he was Community Forestry Intern with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he accomplished documentation of field manual on multipurpose forest inventory and supported Climate Change Integrated Development System. He is also credited with baseline data creation for 3D micro-watershed modeling in terms of forest, water and livelihood analysis in Varin district (Siem Reap). As a Livelihood Consultant with Pragya India, he initiated potential livelihood intervention activities in disaster affected Kedarnath (Kalimath valley), where tourism used to be primary activity for income generation in pre-disaster scenario. The assignment involves sectoral mapping (value chain analysis) to identify immediate and locally based sustainable livelihood activities.
Aniket Chaudhary is an environmental professional with more than 3 years of experience in forestry, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management services. He has done his Masters in Ecology and Environment (2013) from Pondicherry University. He did his Bachelors (B.Sc.) in Environment and Water Management (2011) from Magadh University, Patna.
Since April 2016, he is associated with IORA’s USAID sponsored project “Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-PLUS) Programme” as a Research Associate-Forestry. He is also responsible for providing technical support for IUCN sponsored project “Developing Sustainable Agriscapes for Future” and UNDP funded program “Assessing the impact of invasive species on forest ecosystem in the state of Sikkim”
Prior to IORA he served as the Environment Manager with JMC – CHEC (JV) under Delhi Metro Rail Project engaged with all environment related issues. As a Research Fellow with G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, he worked on biodiversity and conservation approaches and natural resources management practices in the western Himalayas. He did extensive field work in the alpine regions-biophysical studies and collection of socio-economic data. He was also the team member for establishing GLORIA field site-in western Himalayas, Chaudans valley India. During his association with Foundation for Ecological Security (Bhilwara, Rajasthan), he conducted biophysical assessment of community forest land in Rajasthan.
Senior Research Associate
Kunal has done M.Sc. in Environmental Studies and Resource Management from TERI University, New Delhi. He was awarded a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship for his Master’s thesis and was an exchange student to Albert-Ludwigs University Freiberg, Germany for the same.
His background in economics coupled with the knowledge of the environment has given him the skill to think holistically, keeping in mind the three baselines of our world i.e. economy, environment and society. He has developed skill and expertise on subjects like valuation of ecosystem services and its applications, climate change mitigation and adaptation, REDD+, economics of climate change and ecological assessment and GIS applications in natural resource management.
At IORA, Kunal is engaged in multiple projects utilizing and further building his skills along with developing expertise in new areas such as environmental finance and system dynamics modelling for forest resource management.
Prior to joining IORA, he worked with Pragya, a NGO working for the appropriate development of vulnerable communities and sensitive ecosystems of the world. As part of the International Programs Taskforce, he provided support for projects being implemented by Pragya, Kenya. He was also a key team member and coordinator for Pragya’s humanitarian flood relief efforts in Jammu & Kashmir in 2014.
Remote Sensing and GIS
Vice President - RS & GIS
Dr. Parul Srivastava
Dr. Parul Srivastava is an environmental enthusiast with over 13 years of research and teaching experience in Geospatial Technology in Forest Ecology, Protected Area Management, Mapping of Forest Resources, Climate Change and Alternate Energy Resource. She holds Ph.D. in Forest Ecology and Environment from Forest Research Institute (Deemed) University (2008) and Masters in Botany from University of Allahabad. To be proficient in geospatial technology, she undertook the training in ‘Application of GIS in Forestry’ from Indian Institute of Remote Sensing. She has extensive research experience in the area of Forest Ecology and Climate Change and has contributed significantly in various projects on mapping and monitoring of natural resources during her association with Forest Survey of India, Dehradun; and Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
She has also served as an Area Director GIS and Faculty in the area Computer Science and Engineering, NIIT University, Neemrana, Rajasthan. Her key areas of teaching expertise are GIS Project Management (Project initiation, planning, design and implementation); Geo-Informatics for Natural Resource Management; and Cartography (Map Projections and Spatial Coordinate Systems). Presently she is associated with IORA Ecological Solutions in the capacity of Vice President – RS & GIS; and a key team member of IORA’s GIS Technology Group.
Advocating policy message supported by concrete science and technical analysis, she has research papers and reports published in peer reviewed journals and in the conferences both National and International level. She has also reviewed papers for International Journal of Agriculture Sciences (2016) and International Journal of Remote Sensing (2011 and 2010).
Senior Manager - Projects
Dr. Santanu Basu
Dr. Sanatnu Basu holds a Doctorate in Wildlife Science from Wildlife Institute of India and Masters in Forest Management from the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. He has over nine years of progressive experience across a broad range of forest conservation and biodiversity monitoring activities using various tools and techniques of GIS and Remote Sensing.
At IORA, Dr. Basu is supervising the Remote Sensing and GIS team for analysis of remote sensing data to ascertain forest cover and forest type stratification, land use land cover change analysis, monitoring and evaluation of forest quality, assessment of land cover vulnerability to deforestation and forest degradation and maintaining non-spatial database for project planning, implementation and monitoring. He has also been involved in various project management and business development activities for the company.
Before joining IORA, Dr. Basu was a Technical Specialist at RMSI Pvt. Ltd. He has had the opportunity to work with many international agencies such as FAO Cambodia, UNDP Indonesia and Wales Forestry Commission, and has worked on various forestry projects in various countries including Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Russia, and United Kingdom.
Dr. Basu is passionate about working in the field of wildlife conservation and management. He has identified and monitored forest connectivity and corridors for tigers and elephants in India, created awareness in target areas and developed community based livelihoods to reduce dependency on forests. He has extensively been involved in radio tracking of tigers, abundance estimation of carnivores and herbivores and quantification of vegetation communities. During his work at the Sariska Tiger Reserve, he used remote sensing and GIS based approach to develop a wildlife management plan and monitored a tiger which had been reintroduced in the forest through spatial and ground-based tracking approaches. He also has training experience. He has trained students, researchers, wildlife managers, forest department staff – both at the national and international levels – on field data collection protocol for forest inventory, monitoring of wildlife population and application of RS and GIS for management planning.
Senior Manager – RS & GIS
Dr. Uttara Pandey
Dr. Uttara Pandey holds a Doctorate in Forestry (Forest Environment Management) from the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.
Dr. Pandey possesses significant expertise in Remote Sensing Data Efficiency and Remote Sensing Data Proficiency with specialization in IRS Cartosat-1, LISS-III & LISS-IV, MODIS, ASTER, Landsat and Envisat ASAR, ERS ½ & TerraSAR-X. She is proficient in RS & GIS Packages – Arc GIS 10.0, Arc View 3.2a, PCI Geomatica 10, ERDAS Imagine 2011, ENVI 4.6, Sarscape – 2.3.0, ESA SAR tool Box, ILWIS; GPS Instruments – Garmin & Magellan Series; and GPS Software – DNR Garmin & Map Source.
Dr. Pandey is associated with the USAID funded Forest-PLUS Program, a technical assistance program funded by USAID India for the development of REDD+ projects in various landscapes in India. Prior to joining IORA, she was associated with IIT Mumbai as a Project Manager, looking after the entire project planning and implementation process, project documentation, ensuring error-free deliverables and successful project implementation. She served as a GIS Manager with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and was associated with the Uttar Pradesh Participatory Forest Management & Poverty Alleviation Project, which involved the implementation of Joint Forest Management activities in 20 forest divisions, spread over 14 districts.
Dr. Pandey has also trained Indian Forest Services (IFS) and State Forest Services (SFS) probationers and taught Postgraduate Diploma and M.Tech students at the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun.
Manager – RS & GIS
Atri has developed expertise in Remote Sensing and GIS applications over the last seven years. She holds an M. Sc. in Environment Management from the Forest Research Institute Dehradun. She is also a UGC (NET) Fellow and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Remote Sensing applications in assessment of vulnerability of tropical forests to change in climate from the Forest Research Institute Research Centre – Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.
At IORA, Atri is engaged in digital image processing and digital interpretation of satellite data. She analyzes the remote sensing data to ascertain land cover details, forest cover and forest type, and develops land use change matrix for REDD+ projects. Apart from this, she provides assistance in reconnaissance surveys at the project sites, which allows her to develop an inventory for forest and biomass estimation for project areas. These surveys include monitoring and evaluation of changes, assessment of vulnerability and non-spatial database for project planning, implementation and monitoring.
Prior to joining IORA, she worked with the Foundation for Ecological Security as a Senior Project officer in GIS where her prime responsibilities included building a spatial data base for FES teams working across seven states of India, integrating and analyzing spatial and non-spatial database for project planning, implementation and monitoring along with extending GIS support to other organizations. She has also worked as a Technical Associate at the Forest Survey of India, Dehradun on a Forest Type Mapping Project and as a Research Scholar at IIT, Kharagpur and IIFM, Bhopal.
Jibotosh is a Postgraduate in Remote Sensing and GIS from North Orissa University. At IORA, Jibotosh is involved under the USAID funded Forest-PLUS Program. He is primarily engaged with satellite data processing; LULC mapping; and fractional forest cover mapping in Madhya Pradesh, for the Hoshangabad and Satpura Tiger Reserve, in coordination with the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department.
Prior to joining IORA, Jibotosh served as a Junior Project Fellow at the G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development (Academic) on the project titled “Runoff modelling and simulation of sediment load of Gangotri Glacier Systems” operational in Almora (Uttarakhand) and Gangotri Glacier Basin-Gaumukh. Apart from that, there are number of research projects on climate change he has been associated with, such as Environment impact assessment using Remote Sensing (RS) & Geographical Information System (GIS), A Case Study of Simlipal Bio-sphere Region”; Assessment of Land Use Land Cover of Goalpara District of Assam Using Satellite Data; Study of changes in Seasonal Snow cover in Goriganga & Dhauliganga Basin in Central Himalayan Region using MODIS Satellite Data and Runoff modelling and simulation of sediment load of Gangotri Glacier Systems.
Jibotosh is well versed in Basic Microsoft Software, GIS & Mapping Software, Remote Sensing Software, DGPS & GPS, and Statistical Software. He is a member of the Indian Science Congress Association.
Rohit holds a Post Graduate degree in Geo-informatics from Birla Institute of Technology, Jharkhand. He has an efficient working knowledge of Operating Systems – Windows 2000/XP/Vista; and GIS Software: ArcGIS 9.3, 9.3.1, ERDAS Imagine 9.2, AutoCad Map 2000i, and Google Earth.
At IORA, Rohit is working in the domain of geospatial science under the USAID funded Forest-PLUS Program, focusing on Karnataka, Sikkim and MP landscapes.
Prior to joining IORA, Rohit served as a Junior Research Fellow at CIMFR, Dhanbad, mapping areas affected with coal fire and land subsidence in Jharia coal fields using remote sensing techniques. He completed his Master’s thesis on Estimation of 2-D Glacier velocities using Differential SAR Interferometry of Milam Glacier, Uttarakhand. He has numerous minor projects to his credit, namely Mineralogical studies of Nepheline syenite of Kishangarh, Rajasthan; Field visit and analysis of the rock phosphate ore of Jhamarkotra phosphate mine, Udaipur; and Delineation of subsurface faults and minerals identification using ALOS PALSAR and Landsat datasets.
Payal holds a Post Graduate degree in Remote Sensing & GIS from North Odisha University and Postgraduate Diploma in Remote Sensing & GIS. Pursuing her interests, she has completed the ESRI Virtual Campus Course Certification. She has an efficient working knowledge of Operating Systems – Windows 2000/XP/Vista; and GIS Software: ArcGIS 9.3, 9.3.1, ERDAS Imagine 9.2, AutoCad Map 2000i, Google earth.
At IORA, Payal is working in the domain of geospatial science under the Forest-PLUS Program, focusing on Karnataka and Sikkim landscapes.
Prior to joining IORA, Payal was a Project Trainee with the Office of Registrar General (Census of India), working on GIS based Town Mapping of Delhi area. She was also associated with Innodata Isogen Pvt. Ltd. as a GIS Engineer. She served as a GIS Analyst in Adroitech Information System Pvt. Ltd. As a part of her Master’s degree, she completed a project titled “Assessment of Urban Sprawl in Kolkata Metropolitan area Using Geospatial Technologies” from Regional Remote Sensing Centre, East (ISRO).
Raj Kumar Arya
Raj Kumar Arya started his professional career with IORA as a Research Associate contributing to the domain of RS and GIS. Some of his key assignments are USAID funded Forest-PLUS Program; Assessing the Impact of Invasive Species on Forest Eco-System in the State of Sikkim; and National Technical Assistance to Analyze Data and Design Best Practices during Updation of Assam’s Forest Working Plan.
He has completed his M.Tech. in Remote Sensing and GIS with Specialization in Forest Resources and Ecosystem Analysis from Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun and B.Sc. in Forestry from Dev Singh Bisht Campus Kumaun University, Nainital, India. He has sound understanding of GIS Software: Arc-GIS 10.1 and above, Q-GIS; and Image Processing Software: ENVI 5.0, ERDAS 2013 and IDRISI Taiga
Neeraj is a GIS Professional with more than one year experience in GIS and Remote Sensing. He has completed his Masters in Geoinformatics from Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), India and ITC, University of Twente, The Netherlands. He has pursued his Bachelors in Engineering with specialization in Computer Science from Institute of Technology & Management, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. He owns proficiency on software and tools: ArcGIS 10.3| Quantum GIS| ERDAS Imagine 2013|ENVI 5.1|PolSAR Pro|NEST 5.1.
Neeraj has been a key team member of IORA Geo-Spatial Group, contributing to the domain of RS & GIS for IORA’s Forestry and Biodiversity Projects. Prior to joining IORA he has been associated with Innodata India Pvt Ltd, Noida, leading Services Company providing content solutions, data analytics and related services to publishers, information providers, and enterprises. He also served with Velocis System India Pvt Ltd (watershed department), Rajasthan as a GIS Expert. He had an opportunity for undertaking research project on Calibration of Polarimetric SAR system and software development as a Research Fellow with Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
During his academics, he had an international research exposure with an opportunity to visit a total of 5 countries under the European Union where he interacted with highly qualified faculty for Earth Observation studies and Geo-information Science along with completion of group projects and assignments. Apart from that he has developed a ‘Smart SMS’ in Dot Net with database connectivity from “SQL Server “; used multimedia cell phone connected to a computer in order to send bulk SMS and email under the project “Intranet mailing system”.
Kiledar Singh Tomar
Kiledar Singh Tomar is a GIS Professional with more than 1.5 years of experience. Mr. Tomar has completed his Masters in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation from ITC, University of Twente The Netherlands and Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Dehradun under Joint Education Program. He has pursued his B.E. in Computer Science & Engineering from Institute of Technology & Management, Gwalior, India. He owns a good understanding of Arc GIS, Erdas Imagine 2014, Envi, PolSARpro 5.0, NEST, Open layers, SARscape, DATEM Evolution, Object Editor, SNAP, Geoserver, Mapserver and QGIS. His key areas of interest are Microwave (SAR) Remote Sensing, Laser Scanning, Image Analysis, Geospatial Data Analysis and Remote Sensing of Glaciers, Snow and Ice.
Kiledar is a key team member of IORA’s Geo-Spatial Group contributing to the domain of RS & GIS for IORA’s Forestry and Biodiversity Projects. Prior to joining IORA he has been associated with RMSI Pvt. Ltd, Noida, India as a GIS Engineer. Last he worked as a Junior Research Fellow for the DST sponsored project entitled Modelling Glacier Stored Water in Eastern Himalaya at the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay and has key expertise in Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) for glacier ice thickness experience.
Vice President – Projects & Partnership
Kanchana is an expert in the field of entrepreneurship and business development services, supply chain management, project monitoring, financial management, accounting and regulatory process. She has done Masters in Commerce from Mumbai University and Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai. She also did her Taxation electives in Virginia, USA.
As a Vice President- Projects & Partnership, Kanchana anchors and leads partnership strategies for the organization as a whole. She also collaborates with all internal and external stakeholders to create sustainable models and innovations for creating enterprises on the ground. She works closely with the management in formulating core business strategies with emphasis on partnership and organizational visibility, and leads teams engaged in policy related issues relevant to the core business areas of the organization.
Prior to joining IORA, she was with the Small Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund, Bangalore as Senior Incubation Manager, identifying and nurturing potential sustainable energy entrepreneurs for the under-served communities in the North Eastern regions of India (specifically Manipur and Tripura). As the Vice President, Corp. Comm. and Business Development at Boond Engineering Pvt. Ltd & Boond Foundation Udaipur, she was associated with the creation and development of rural entrepreneurs in the field of solar energy; raising funds using both online and offline media; partnership development; and collaboration with domestic and international bodies. She also served as a Senior Accountant/Project Head at Cornet Technology Inc. (VA, USA) and has worked with leading media houses in India.
Enterprise Development Manager
Biswaranjan is an astute and competent professional with over 13 years of rich experience in strategy planning, business development plans, operation management plans, financial feasibility projects and relationship management in the agri-business sector across India and abroad. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in International Business Management from Fortune Institute of International Business Management, New Delhi. His key strength lies in strong analytical and inter personal skill for better decision making, business strategies and managing the competition. He is a skilled communicator with exceptional presentation skill and abilities in leading cross functional teams and establishing beneficial relationships with key players.
At IORA, Biswaranjan is associated with the USAID funded IEMaC project.
Prior to joining IORA, Biswaranjan was associated with Access Development Services as an Agri-Business Specialist. With Care India, he was engaged in Agri-Business development and management as an Agri-Hub Manager. He also headed the Technical and Marketing (Organic) Division of Food Care International, where he was credited with the certification of 1500 acres of land under NOP, NPOP, EU organic standards as well as certification of Wild area to collect minor forest produce. With JK Agri Genetics Ltd. he experienced the certifications and documentations of government subsidies and organic agriculture. He exhibited his proficiency in branding new agro produce and creating a brand image amongst final consumers. While serving with Bio Sourcing, he was responsible for the certification of 56,000 ha of land including forest as organic under NOP, NPOP, JAS, EU 2091/92 organic standards; and developed software on MS-Access for quality management. He also planned and initiated 1 acre as a demo model for hydroponic farming for broccoli, red cabbage and cayenne paper. With Du-Pont India, he successfully launched a range of Bio Fertilizers, Bio Fungicides and Bio Insecticides across 3 districts of Odisha; generated revenue of Rs. 40 Lacs from the sale of Bio Agri products to the Government of Odisha, different NGOs and plantation organizations; and promoted the Bio Agri Produces in urban areas in the segment of garden inputs and generated Rs.10 lacs in the same year.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Public Private Partnerships
Senior Manager - Partnerships
Shruti has completed an M.Phil. from the School of Habitat Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai with a research focus on International Equity in Sustainable Development (through Ecological Footprint approach). She is a Gold Medallist in Master of Arts (Economics) with Specialisation in International Economics from Christ College, Bangalore University.
Her key areas of expertise are business development; policy research; corporate social responsibility; development of social impact projects; understanding of renewable energy, water, and waste management infrastructure; strategy development for corporate sustainable development; and advocacy campaigns.
At IORA, Shruti has been supporting the organization’s PPP enagements to further the implementation of forestry and ecosystem conservation activities (including communication, clean technology deployment, afforestation, community capacity building, etc.) as a part of the USAID-MOEFCC Forest-PLUS Program.
Prior to joining IORA, Shruti was associated with ETI Dynamics, contributing sustainability designing and delivering social impact projects, and developing sustainable infrastructure projects in India, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. She worked as a Consultant with Emergent Ventures India, to monitor, evaluate, and report business sustainability of corporates across various sectors, and prepare sustainability strategies with their management. She has also served as a Research Associate with Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai focusing on the issues of sustainable development and international negotiations on climate change. As a Clean Energy Analyst with Climate Connect Ltd. she used to collate, analyze, and disseminate information on the renewable energy sector for corporate clients.
Bhavya graduated in Sociology with Honors from University of Delhi & holds a Master’s degree in Environment and Development from the Ambedkar University, Delhi. Her Master’s dissertation project focused on studying and analysing the various livelihood and resource dependency patterns within Sainj – a village in the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh.
At IORA, Bhavya has been engaged in the organization’s Public Private Partnerships arrangements for implementation of activities related to forestry and ecosystem conservation services under the USAID-MOEFCC Forest-PLUS Program.
Prior to joining IORA, Bhavya served as a Policy/Program Officer at Vasudha Foundation, being primarily responsible for project management in the domain of renewable energy, thermal energy and climate negotiations. Bhavya also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Law and Policy from WWF India and National Law University, Delhi.
Manju is an expert in proposal writing, fundraising and advocacy. She has gained more than 9 years of research experience on developmental and social issues ranging from child labour, women’s empowerment, food security, civil governance, status of primary education in India (non-formal education) etc.. She is a Post Graduate in Psychology from Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak. She completed a Diploma in Guidance and Counseling from the National Council for Education Research and Training, New Delhi.
At IORA, Manju is primarily responsible for proposal design and submission for new projects in the area of Forestry, Biodiversity, Climate change adaptation & mitigation, Renewable energy and New market mechanisms for conservation. Also engaged with recasting the organizational profile and experts’ CVs in response to RFPs; proposal tracking; and compilation of proposal tracking database; compilation of a master format, which is constantly updated.
Prior to joining IORA, Manju was associated with PRAGYA India (Research, Advocacy and Fund Raising team), identifying potential donors among trusts and institutional funders, and submitting briefs / proposals, making presentations and active follow-up. She was also contributing to papers in the area of natural resource management, social development, livelihoods and appropriate technologies. During her tenure with One World South Asia, New Delhi, she documented best practices on governance for the Department of Public Grievances and Administrative Reforms, GoI; National Institute for Smart Governance, GoI; and Centre for Innovation in Public Services, Hyderabad. She has been associated with national level research organizations like V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, Noida; Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi; and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
Regional Team – Assam
Arunava holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Gauhati University. He also pursued his Postgraduate Diploma in Human Rights from the Indian Institute of Human Rights.
At IORA, Arunava is working on projects sponsored by the Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Society “Estimation of Potential Value or Ecosystem Services and Development of REDD+ Project for Assam” and “Technical assistance to analyze Data and Design Best Practices during Updation of Forest Working Plan”.
Prior to joining IORA, Arunava was associated with the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), where he consistently progressed to positions of increasing responsibility. He was primarily engaged with monitoring and evaluation; coordination and networking with stakeholders; financial planning and budgeting; and project communication.
Chandrima Debi is a Research Associate with IORA and currently working on Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Society sponsored project “Technical Assistance to Analyse Data and Design Best Practices During Updation of Forest Working Plan”. She is pursuing her Ph.D from Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat, an autonomous body under Indian Council for Forestry Research and Education (ICFRI). She has her Masters in Forest management from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. She has been accredited with Certificate of excellence from RIO+20 India programme on sustainable development.
Prior to joining IORA, she has been a part of various research projects during her post-graduation and Ph.D Programme. Some of her studies are on Soil nutrient status; Soil and Geological Relationship; Rehabilitation of degraded jhum land; Identification of potential bamboo species; Ethnobotany of medicinal plants, Mycology and Soil microbiology; VAM-Host symbiosis; Biodiversity conservation etc. She also owns a wide field exposure on soil survey, watershed management, wildlife management, forest management, biodiversity and conservation.
Regional Team – Madhya Pradesh
Senior Manager - Forestry
Dr. Swati Moghe
Dr. Swati Moghe completed her Doctorate from the Forest Research Institute Research Centre – Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal in 2007. She did her M.Sc. in Forestry from Guru Ghasi Das University, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh and obtained a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT-2 years) from Government Women Polytechnic, Bhopal. She was awarded the Nuffic Fellowship in 2014 by the Government of Netherlands for attending a training program on “Governance of Landscape, Forests and People”, as well as the MPCST Fellowship to attend a training on “Aquatic Pollution and Monitoring techniques” at the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa in 1996.
Prior to joining IORA, Dr. Moghe worked as a Project Research Associate and as a research/data analyst at the Regional Centre for Afforestation and Eco-development Board (RCNAEB), Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal. She was also associated with Excellence in Livelihood Management (CLM), Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal. She has been engaged as a consultant on various projects by the Department of Architecture and Planning, MANIT, Bhopal; PRAKRUTI Design LLP, New Delhi; Department of Environment and Forest, Andaman and Nicobar Island; National Afforestation and Eco-development Board, MoEFCC, GoI; Ministry of Rural Development, Madhya Pradesh; Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal; Christianity in Developing Harmony (CDH), Bhopal; World Health Organization; Human Resource Development Centre (UNDP, New Delhi); and UN Inter Agency Working Group on Gender and Development.
Dr. Moghe has published papers in national and international journals on forestry management, eco-development planning, environmental and social responsiveness. She has also attended several conferences on participatory forest management, women empowerment through SHGs, bio-diversity conservation, forestry research challenges, etc.
Saurabh holds a MBA in Operations from the National Institute of Management, Bhopal. He has gained over eleven years of work experience with various organizations. He is proficient in networking & public relations; liaising with government officials; training & capacity building; and conducting regular review, monitoring and updating of project deliverables. He also has a research aptitude in baseline studies, evaluation and case study analysis.
At IORA, Saurabh is associated with USAID funded Forest-PLUS Program.
Prior to joining IORA, Saurabh worked with D1 Oils Pvt. Ltd. as the Zonal Officer for Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan; UNICEF (NSS) as the State Coordinator; Randstad India Ltd. on the PPP Project of Municipal Corporation of Raipur (RMC) JNNuRM PIU Member as a Social and Livelihood Expert; Dr Jain Video on wheels as the Head – Operations; and Jayaswal Neco Ind. Ltd. as the Manager (CSR/HRM).
Arvind Kumar Thakur
Arvind holds a Diploma in computer application from Dayashankar Upadyay Social Welfare and Master of Arts degree from Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh). He joined IORA with 8 years of extensive experience in contract farming, agricultural production, procurement and agriculture advisory services.
At IORA, Arvind is coordinating field activities of USAID funded IEMaC project in Madhya Pradesh. IORA is the implementing organization of IEMaC project which envisions developing innovative models for reducing pressures on India’s forests through alternative livelihood creation and alternate technology deployment for fuel wood abatement.
Prior to joining IORA, Arvind worked with D1 Oils Fuel Crops India Pvt. Ltd. as Executive- Procurement; Ekgaon Technologies Pvt. Ltd. as Management Executive, Agri Information & Advisory Services Unit; and last at Foundation for Ecological Security as Project Officer, Agriculture & Livelihood Programmes at Udaipur, Rajasthan.
Regional Team – Karnataka
Shrinivas holds a graduate degree in commerce and has about half a decade experience in the development sector.
At IORA, Shrinivas is entrusted with the task of coordinating and carrying out all field activities under the USAID supported project “Innovations in Ecosystem Management and Conservation” (IEMaC) in Sirsi, Karnataka. This project aims at developing innovative models for reducing pressures on India’s forests through alternative livelihood creation and alternate technology deployment for fuel wood abatement.
Prior to joining IORA, Shrinivas worked with LIFE Trust as a field assistance and Office Administrator. At LIFE Trust, he worked in collecting data and conducting surveys, assisting in community plantation work and mobilizing communities
Vishal is a software professional with one year experience in Java and Android based application development. He holds a Bachelor degree in Computer Sciences and Engineering from the United College of Engineering & Research, Allahabad. He also has completed advanced trainings in Java & Android Technology; and Android Application Development.
At IORA, Vishal has been working on the development of various apps under the USAID funded Forest-PLUS Program.
Prior to joining IORA, Vishal was associated with Appmaxter Software Solutions, Bangalore as an Android Application Developer. He also served as a Java and Android Application Developer with RoundPay Voice Tech, Lucknow. While pursuing his academics, he developed numerous Android and Java based applications like an android instant messenger (C-Cloud); ATM emulator machine; and music player. During his internship with Hewlett Packard Education Services, Patna, he provided technical support in Core Java, J2EE with Struts & Hibernate Framework and Android Application Development.
Finance and Accounts
HR and Administration
Manager – Administration
Rabi Narayan Sahu
Mr. Sahu has been associated with IORA as a Manager Administration taking care of overall office management inclusive of vendor management, Invoice management etc. Mr. Sahu retired from Indian Army as a Junior Commissioned Officer after serving for 30 years. He was engaged with effective supervision of man power about 500 people as Senior Junior Commissioned Officer for the period of 8 years. He also served in Army Air Defence College as technical Instructor for the period of 4 years providing training to Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Jawan. He was Training in-charge of the Unit for 3 years.
Apart from that Mr. Sahu worked with Bharat Electronic Limited, Ghaziabad as a System Supervisor in an IT related project for 3 years.
While serving with Indian Army, he completed his Graduation from Osmania University followed by his MBA from Sikkim Manipal University; and Diploma in Radar Technology from Odisha Berhampur University in 1st division. He also Qualified CCBM from Amity University, Noida with ‘A’ grading.
Deputy Manager – Human Resource
Nishant has more than 4 years of experience working in HR generalist and recruitment roles. He has worked with companies with small HR teams, giving him the opportunity to work independently and in close coordination with the Management. Nishant commenced working during his early studies and this shaped his values and commitment to professionalism. Nishant did his PGDM in Human Resource and Marketing from Asian Business School, Noida. He also did an Executive IB Diploma from Oxford Business School, UK.
At IORA, Nishant works on all aspects of HR practices from managing the current work force to new recruitments. Nishant is also managing the travel requests for team members; ticketing and booking
Front Office cum Administration Executive
Shikha has done her graduation from Karnataka State Open University. She has been awarded the SCSA (Sun Certified System Administration) and SCNA (Sun Certified Networking Administration) Certificates. She is well versed in MS Word, MS Excel, MS Power Point and internet; as well as skilled in data entry, filing and paperwork management.
Deputy Manager – Information Technology
Santosh is a highly competent and organized systems administrator with years of experience in software procurement, installation, administration and compatibility. He possesses a proven ability to assist with the day-to-day running of an IT department and its business IT systems. He also has extensive knowledge of monitoring and controlling data security within guidelines to ensure compliance. Santosh is a qualified CCNA and MCSE Professional. Apart from that he has completed a Diploma in Hardware(A+) and Networking(N+) followed by his Graduation in IT from Kuvempu University,Shimoga (Karnataka). He is a Project management professional capable of achieving cost savings and enhancing system functionality. He has a track record of tackling and solving tough business and technical problems. He is also a strong leader with demonstrated ability to work effectively with individuals at all levels and in all functional areas, having experience in managing full project lifecycle from requirements gathering to final implementation and customer training.
At IORA, he has been entrusted with all IT related functions.
Prior to joining IORA, he was associated with JSG Infotech Pvt. Ltd. as a System Administrator, taking technical lead to identify and implement solutions to problems affecting IT services; and providing 1st/ 2nd Line and some 3rd Line support over the telephone, remotely and face-to-face to clients and internal staff members. He has managed 200 clients, 3 HP Servers (ProLiant DL38e), IP Phone, intercom CCTV, Access door Control, Cisco Switch (Catalyst 2960 X-Series) Cisco Router (Catalyst 3650) and Cyberoam firewall 50ING.