IRCPL is home to a number of faculty-led projects and hosts several related research centers.
Mapping the Sacred: Supporting Indigenous Conservation Movements in India
The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life’s most recent project under the Columbia Catalyst Initiative will focuses on providing indigenous communities and conservation activists in India with resources, technical support, and mapping trainings to facilitate the conservation of the Devrai/ sacred groves in Maharashtra, the Mirzapur forest in Uttar Pradesh, and the Sundarbans in West Bengal. This project is a collaboration between senior faculty in Anthropology, Religion, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, the School of International and Public Affairs and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Working in India, the research team will use remote sensing analysis, participatory mapping of sacred sites, and the ArcOnline platform to develop useful products for stopping against illegal logging and enhancing the ability of indigenous communities to monitor and protect these forests.