Our research is driven to understand the conditions under which technology can not only increase productivity but also contribute to resource conservation. The initiative on Forest Economy will empower the collectors of Seasonal Forest Products, especially women, by developing technology that is useful to them!
Our Vision of Technology
Technology has been at the center of environmental crisis. Contrary to the popular notion that increasing efficiency in resource use leads to resource conservation, all human efforts to increase productivity using technology have resulted in environmental degradation with short-term and long-term effects. The initiative on Forest Economy at Indian School of Business aims to understand the conditions under which technology can create positive synergies in outcomes such as increasing productivity and contributing to resource conservation.
We believe that such positive synergies in outcomes can be created through a combination of institutions and technology. Our emphasis on technology for creating an inclusive forest economy is to provide greater control over the technology to those who are affected by the negative outcomes of that technology, such as environmental degradation. There are three ways in which technology can contribute to building an inclusive forest economy.
The first is to use Digital technology to improve visibility and traceability of supply chains. The first mile production of forest based industrial raw material supply chains are invisible because they are enmeshed in the informal sector.
The people who are involved in the collection and sale of Seasonal Forest Products benefit poorly from it because the wealth and value of production is created outside of forests. The first step towards implementing technology is to make the first mile visible and traceable through digital recording mechanisms.The second major use of technology is in creating economies of scale by (a) creating aggregation economies through storage, transport, and other infrastructural investments to integrate with the formal economy, (b) increasing productivity to reduce drudgery of the first mile production of the collectors of Seasonal Forest Products. Although technology for increasing the productivity of the collector exists, it must be customized and adapted to local conditions and particular Seasonal Forest Products.
The third use of technology is in increasing accountability. Community ownership of forests must be coupled with monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the local communities manage forests responsibly and are held accountable for any failures. We will do this through a combination of remote sensing products, advanced analytics and mobile based applications that can hold different stakeholders accountable.
Explore our work
Following up from field data collection on the location of specific species on the ground, our Team has now produced a map of the distribution of Sal forests in the state. In December 2021, a team from ISB collected data from more than 5000 points in collaboration with local communities in Gumla district with the support of our partner Rose Xaxa.