About CAT

Conservation Action Trust

Our Purpose

CAT’s Mission Statement

“To conserve India’s natural wealth and increase India’s sensitivity towards forests, wildlife and rivers through research, education, public participation and, when necessary, judicial intervention.”

CAT’s vision for the future

A future India where there is widespread understanding and appreciation of nature and its values, and where the quality of life is better due to our respect for nature being reflected in our institutions and our law.

CAT is dedicated to provide assistance in the form of technical information, legal advice, aid and equipment to all those who are confronting environmental problems.

CAT works closely with the Forest Departments and other NGOs that are fighting to protect nature and natural resources. Current campaigns include actively protecting the Mangroves and Biodiversity in India, looking at low carbon future and Renewable Energy in India and ensuring that forests are not distributed to appease industrialists and voters.


Board Of Trustees

Janki Andharia

Dr. Janki Andharia is a professor of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (TISS). She has been teaching at the TISS, for three decades. She was Head, Department of Urban and Rural Community Development before moving on as the Chairperson of the newly created Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies. She has been recipient of an award for outstanding contribution for Education at the Global World Education Congress in 2015 and in 2014 received a National Education Leadership award by Lokmat as the Best Professor in Disaster Management. governments. She has successfully led several international missions to forge collaborations between TISS and other Universities and offered special lectures. She has also been instrumental in developing a partnership with IFRC for an on-line programme on Disaster Management. She serves on the Boards of several organizations- academic, government, private sector. She has a long association with grassroots organizations.

Sujit Patwardhan

Mr. Sujit Patwardhan is a founder member and Trustee of Parisar since its inception in 1982. Since the mid-1990s he has concentrated on advocacy for Sustainable Urban Transport Policy. He has been working for the sustainable urban planning and sustainable urban transport. He has driven Parisar’s efforts to bring issues of environment centre-stage and has highlighted the need to ensure industrial and urban development does not lead to damage and destruction of the environment.
He has served on several important committees such as – Maharashtra State Environment Protection Committee, High Court Committee for overseeing building permissions granted in Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar Panchgani Regional Planning Board, Urban Heritage Committee of PMC (Pune Municipal Corporation), Development Plan Steering Committee for PMC etc.

Debi Goenka

Debi Goenka is an environmentalist, who started his love affair with the environment in 1974, during his college days, first as a volunteer with the WWF and BNHS. In later years, he has worked with WWF-India, has been elected to the Executive Committee of the BNHS for a number of terms, and has been associated with various other NGOs such as SOCLEEN, BEAG, INTACH, Indian Heritage Society, etc. He has also served on various Committees appointed by the Bombay High Court, the Ministry of Environment & Forests, and the Maharashtra Government.
As the Executive Trustee of Conservation Action Trust, he continues to spearhead the issues regarding the conservation and protection of the environment. He stresses on the role of forests in protecting the water security of the country.
He has pioneered several successful campaigns to protect the natural environment. Some of the most notable success stories have been the protection of mangroves, the protection of the Borivili National Park, and the success in protecting over 3,500 square kilometres of forests in Vidarbha from denotification. He has also been involved in campaigns to prevent the denotification of the Melghat Tiger Sanctuary, for the notification of Dahanu Taluka as an ecologically sensitive area, for the protection of the coastal areas of Murud Janjira, the declaration of the Nandur – Madhameshwar bird sanctuary and the Tungareshwar sanctuary, as well as the campaign against Enron. He has been largely responsible for the CRZ Notification of 1991, as well as the notifications for the protection of Mahableshwar-Panchgani, Matheran and the Kaziranga ESZ (Numaligarh refinery). 

From Mangoes to Mangroves – TEDx talk by our Executive Trustee, Mr. Debi Goenka

K. J. Joy

Mr. Joy is a founding member of Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM), Pune and works with SOPPECOM as a Senior Fellow (www.soppecom.org). He has been an activist-researcher for more than 30 years and has worked as a full time grassroots activist with Mukti Sangharsh Movement, South Maharashtra, for about eight years. He has worked with Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samithi (BGVS) in its watershed development and resource literacy programme. He was a Visiting Fellow with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development (CISED), Bangalore (now part of ATREE) and was a Fulbright Fellow with the University of California at Berkeley. He coordinates the national level network on water conflicts, “Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India” (www.waterconflictforum.org). Presently he is also involved in the CCMCC-NWO research project, “Hydropower development in the context of climate change: Exploring conflicts and fostering cooperation across scales and boundaries in the Eastern Himalayas”.

He has a special interest in people’s institutions for natural resource management, especially water, both at the grassroots and policy levels. His other areas of interests include drought and drought proofing, participatory irrigation management, river basin management and multi-stakeholder processes, watershed based development, water and sanitation, biodiversity, water conflicts and people’s movements.

He has published extensively on water and development issues and some of his co-authored/edited books include: 1) Sustainable Technology: Making Sardar Sarovar Project Viable; 2) Banking on Biomass: A New Strategy for Sustainable Prosperity Based on Renewable Energy and Dispersed Industrialisation; 3) Watershed Based Development: A Source Book; 4) Sustainable Prosperity: Sustaining and Enabling Natures Productive Powers; 5) Water: Sustainable and Efficient Use; 6) Community-based Natural Resource Management: Issues and Cases from South Asia; and 7) Water Conflicts in India: A Million Revolts in the Making.

He is the recipient of the TN Khoshoo Memorial Award for 2016.

Team of Lawyers

CAT is grateful to the team of our pro-bono lawyers who have supported us in all our legal cases. We take this opportunity to acknowledge our team of lawyers for their pro bono services since the inception of CAT. Their dedicated efforts have made it possible for CAT to continue in the endeavour of protection and conservation of environment. On behalf of CAT we thank our lawyers for believing in our cause and contributing to further CATs efforts.

High Court of Bombay

• Late Saleh Doctor
• Rafique Dada
• Janak Dwarkadas
• Harish Jagtiani
• Navroz Seervai
• Gautam Patel
• Gayatri Singh
• Mihir Desai
• Rajan Jayakar
• Mustafa Doctor
• Shiraz Rustomjee
• Ameet Hariani
• Sharan Jagtiani
• Ajay Vazirani
• Aditya Khandeparkar
• Gulnar Mistry
• Prembhari Thakkar
• Jai Chhabria
• Nimay Dave
• Kushal More
• Rohan Rajadhyaksha
• Tanmayee Gadre Rajadhyaksha
• Ushajee Peri
• Lara Jesani
• Shreya Parikh
• Jahaan Dastur
• Anand Sarnath
• Apurva Gupte
• Vinamra Kopariha
• Zaman Ali
• Meenaz Kakalia
• Rishika Harish

Supreme Court of India

• Late T R Andhyarujina
• Indu Malhotra
• Shyam Divan
• Madhavi Divan
• Bharat Kumar
• Nina Nariman
• Madhusmita Bora

High Court of Nagpur

• Chandrashekhar Kaptan
• Sudhir Puranik

National Green Tribunal, West Zone Bench

• Fawia Mesquita
• Anirudha Joshi

National Green Tribunal, South Zone Bench

• T K Ramkumar
• Yogeshwaran Amarneethi

National Green Tribunal, Principal Bench

• Ritwick Dutta
• Rahul Choudhary

CAT Staff

Our strong team of dedicated and experienced professionals.
Dr. Shweta Bhatt
Conservation Officer, since August 2011

Dr. Shweta Bhatt holds her Doctoral degree in the field of Mangroves and their environment. She has been working in the field of mangroves since past 11 years. At CAT, she is focusing on conservation and protection of the mangroves and the coastal environment, using satellite data and remote sensing-GIS tools. She also works on critiques and comments of EIA reports. She is also working on clean energy projects. She works closely with the fisher-folk community assisting them with technical support.

Prasad Khale
Conservation Officer, since January 2015

Prasad holds Masters in Environmental Science. In past he has worked at NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) and NITIE (National Institute of Industrial Engineering), Mumbai. He also has keen interest in wildlife and trekking.
Prasad currently works on the environmental issues, specially related with pollution. He focuses on the background research required for the CATs legal cases, particularly the Vehicular Pollution matter. He also works and prepares critiques on the EIA reports and various notifications.

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