Earth Belongs to all species

Who we are


Sustainable management of forests and other ecosystems in Kodagu District which would serve as a model for similar areas in Western Ghats and other regions, with an aim of maintaining environmental and socio–economic equilibrium, and conservation of catchments areas.



  • Protection and sustainable uilization of forests, trees and their ecosystems.
  • Promote growing native trees, encourage agro-forestry models.
  • Create awareness about importance of forests and environment.
  • Research and training connected to forestry science.
  • Consultancy services in allied and relevant matters
  • Address the problems of demograhic changes that affect environment


Aims & Objectives

  • To enhance the integrity of the forest ecosystems in Kodagu through promotion and application of the principles of sustainable forest management in sacred groves, protected areas, private holdings and public land.
  • To Foster the socio-economic development of the communities within Kodagu.
  • To increase public awareness and educate on sustainability and other environmental issues in Kodagu and the Western Ghats.
  • To Enhance community participation in the management and conservation of Kodagu.
  • To share knowledge and experience in sustainable forest management through partnerships with other organisations.


Key Challenges

  • Degradation of natural forests.
  • Loss of tree cover and diversity in private plantations
  • Loss in aquatic ecosystem related biodiversity and depletion of ground water resources.
  • Economic instability and related impacts on livelihood.
  • Lack of knowledge and awareness in environment related issues.
  • Increase in man animal conflict.
  • Marginalisation of indigenous communities due to improper focus on their livelihood and resultant socio-economic crisis.
  • Degradation of community lands like Sacred Groves.


Board of Trustees

  • Dr. N. A Prakash (Ex-Dean Forestry)- College of Forestry, Ponnampet - Chairman.
  • Col. C.P. Muthanna- Coorg Wildlife Society (CWS) - Vice Chairman.
  • Shri. Sherry Subbaiah- Skanda Coffee -Hon. Secretary.
  • Dr. C.G. Kushalappa (Dean)- College of Forestry, Ponnampet - Joint Secretary.
  • Shri. Somanna Chittiappa- River Side Community Forum (RSCF)- Treasurer.
  • Prof. N.M. Poonacha- Agriculture Scientist Forum of Kodagu (ASFK)- Member.
  • Shri. M.T. Subbaiah- Green Village Community Forum (GVCF) - Member.
  • Shri. Manu Muddappa- Valley Dew Community Forum (VDCF)- Member.
  • Ms. Meera Rajesh- Forest First Samithi (FFS) - Member.
  • Shri. Santosh Sutar- Center for Environment Education (CEE) - Member/li>
  • Shri. B.G. Ponnappa- Tata Coffee, Polibetta - Member
  • Shri. Jagadishan- Coffee Board, Chettali - Member
  • Shri. B.B. Chengappa - Member
  • Ms. Saleela Patkar - Member


Permanent Advisors

  • Dr. M.T. Mahendrappa Canada
  • Dr. C.C. Chinnappa Canada
  • Dr. B.W. Poovaiah U.S.A.
  • Dr. C.M. Medappa U.S.A.
  • Dr. A.C. Kushalappa Canada
  • Dr. Shonil Bhagwat U.K. (Technical Collaborator)



  • Canadian Model Forest network
  • CIRAD, France
  • Natural History Museum, London
  • University of Oxford, London
  • WINGS – Global Fund for Community Foundation

  • Centre for Ecological Studies, Bangalore (CES)
  • French Institute, Pondicherry
  • Forest Survey of India, Bangalore
  • Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, Bangalore (ATREE)
  • Sampradhan India Centre for Philanthropy, New Delhi
  • Institute for Wood Science Technology
  • National Bamboo Mission
  • National Horticulture Mission
  • Centre for International Trade in Agriculture & Agro-based Industries, Pune

International Model Forest Network

For more than 20 years, the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) has been implementing a participatory, landscape-level approach to the sustainable management of natural resources. The Model Forest approach offers an effective and flexible process that creates broad partnerships and represents the environmental, social and economic forces at play on the landscape. The IMFN includes more than 60 large scale landscapes in six regional networks covering 84 million hectares in 31 countries. Within the IMFN, regional Model Forest networks were created to more effectively define, articulate and manage regional programs of work by those who know the area best. Current regional networks include: African Model Forest Network Baltic Landscape Network (Northern Europe and Russia) Canadian Model Forest Network Ibero-American Model Forest Network Mediterranean Model Forest Network Regional Model Forest Network, Asia


Agricultural Scientists Forum of Kodagu (ASFK)

The Agricultural Sciences Forum of Kodagu, Ponnampet became functional from 21st November 1998 with about 45 graduate members of the University of Agricultural Sciences. The aims and objectives were to establish and bring together all the graduates of agricultural disciplines together, to conduct seminars and guest lecturers to keep agricultural graduates informed of latest developments, to support and carry on the activities of the forum and to make it useful to the underprivileged students, to associate and assist in organizing exhibitions in the field of farm sector, to initiate a foundation in the name of devoted scientists in the field of teaching, research and extension, to guide the graduates in their career and to interact with government agencies and agricultural research centers. ASFK is represented by its President in KMFT.

Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad

Centre for Environment Education is a National Institution, set up by Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India as a Centre of Excellence in the field of Environment Education. With its Head quarters at Ahmedabad, CEE has a mandate of promoting Environmental Education and Awareness nationwide and started its activities since 1984. CEE aims to provide Environment Education to children, youth and the general community and various other target groups. CEE’s Southern Regional Cell is functioning from Bangalore since 1988, involved in Environment Education activities throughout the four states Southern India. CEE Madikeri and CEE Coorg Field Office (CEE CFO), Virajpet are the two field offices set up in Kodagu district for decentralized and effective dissemination of Environmental Education Activities in the district of Kodagu. The CEE Madikeri is specifically set up to create awareness regarding the fragile eco-system and the unique and diverse culture of Kodagu to the locals as well as the visitors to the district. CEE is represented by its Area Coordinator in KMFT.

Coffee Board, Bangalore

The Coffee Board of India is an autonomous body, functioning under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. The Board serves as a friend, philosopher and guide of the coffee industry in India. Set up under an Act of the Parliament of India in the year 1942, the Board focuses on research, development, extension, quality up gradation, market information, and the domestic and external promotion of Indian coffee. Till 1995, the Coffee Board had a monopolistic control over the marketing of coffee in India. However, the winds of liberalization swept the Indian coffee industry and since 1995, marketing of coffee is strictly a private sector activity. In fact the Coffee Board went through a massive down- sizing and two- thirds of its employees were retired under a voluntary retirement scheme. The Coffee Board conducts basic and applied research on coffee and can boast of 75 glorious years in coffee research. The Central Coffee Research Institute in the Chickmaglur district, Karnataka State has been in the forefront of coffee research over the years and continues to remain one of the premier institutes of the world as far as coffee research is concerned. The Research Department publishes various journals and periodicals. It also offers various services to growers and exporters. Coffee Board is represented in KMFT by its Deputy Director of Coffee Research Sub-station (CRSS), Chettalli in Kodagu District of Karnataka represents.

College of Forestry, Ponnampet

The University of Agricultural Science Bangalore, an autonomous body established in 1964. It has the territorial jurisdiction of 15 southern districts of Karnataka. The mission of the university is to reach greater heights by providing leadership in teaching, research and extension services related to agriculture and allied sciences. The University has seven teaching campuses, offering degree programmes in six disciplines in agriculture and allied subjects. The University was recognized as the best Agricultural University in the country by awarding “Sardar Patel outstanding ICAR Institution Award” for the year 2001. UAS (B) introduced 4 year B.Sc. (Forestry) degree programme at G.K.V.K., Bangalore I the year 1985. College of Forestry, Ponnampet was established in 1995. In 2001, the PG programme in M.Sc.. (Forestry) was started. The course curriculum is a judicious mixture of core subject in forestry along with agriculture and allied sciences. Since inception of the degree programme 18 batches of students have been passed out. Presently the College of Forestry is coming under University of Agriculture and Horticulture sciences Shivamogga which was established during the year 2013. Director of Instruction (Forestry) of College of Forestry, Ponnampet represents the College of Forestry in KMFT.

Coorg Wildlife Society, Madikeri

The late Brigadier CM Cariappa founded the Coorg Wildlife Society in 1980 with an objective to generate greater awareness amongst the people of Kodagu on the importance of conservation. The office is located at Madikeri, Kodagu. However in the present contest the stress is more towards protection of habitat. The CWS is also involved in environment related issues in Kodagu that are outside the forest ecosystems. The president of CWS represents CWS in KMFT.

Skanda Coffee Company, Bangalore

Skanda Coffee Company is a private limited coffee company with its estates spread over southern Kodagu mainly in Thithimathi region. It is represented by its special representative in KMFT.

Tata Coffee Ltd, Pollibetta

Tata Coffee is arguably the largest integrated coffee plantation company in the world. Tata Coffee has a hand in every aspect of the coffee making process, with business activities ranging from growing and curing of coffee and tea to the manufacture and marketing of value-added coffee products. Tata Coffee grows coffee on its own estates, processes the beans, exports green coffee, manufactures and exports Instant Coffee and retails coffee with its own branding in the domestic market. Tata Coffee owns 19 coffee estates located in ideal coffee growing highlands of Southern India, with fertile soils and invigorating climate. Spread over 8037 hectares in Coorg, Chickmaglur and Hassan districts of Karnataka and in Valparai district of Tamil Nadu, Tata Coffee produces 10,000 metric tons of natural shade grown Arabica and Robusta coffees, in both washed and unwashed forms. These estates are located at various altitudes, and the coffee produced possess distinct cup characteristics. Tata Coffee's uniqueness lies in its ability to produce large quantities of estate specific, strain specific, speciality and premium coffee, while maintaining a strict consistency in quality. Apart from coffee and tea, pepper and cardamom are also grown as inter crops on its estates. Monsoon Malabar, Mysore Nugget Extra Bold, and Robusta Kappi Royale are three of the prominent speciality grades of Indian coffee it grows and processes apart from estate specific coffees. Mr. Bean, a quality product made from the finest coffee beans at its plantation, was recently introduced.

Forest First Samithi

Forest First Samithi (FFS) is a non profit organization registered under the society registration act XXI of 1860 as of 10th Nov 2010 with registration number S.619/2010. FFS is teamed up with professionals from various fields with a drive and passion towards forest and ecosystems conservation. The intention is to identify areas that need critical attention and to intervene, facilitate, coordinate and act with the available resources and in possible ways. The major thrust area of interest is enhancement of forest biodiversity, wildlife conservation and sustenance of forest dependent levelihood and hence in an effort to design projects for action, developing strategies and approaches towards achieving our objectives./p>

Green Village Community Forum

One such programme through partnership building with NGO-Government-Community is being implemented in mitigation of Human-Elephant-Conflict (HEC) in the fringe areas of the only National Park of Kodagu, Nagarahole. HEC issues over the years have been the most debated and unsolved problem in the fringe areas. This is also an indicator for the degradation of natural forests. The degradation of natural forests is due to excessive interference by the human, the most interdependent part in the series of complex biotic communities maintaining the ecological balance of nature. The project along with mitigating the HEC issue aims to understand the cause for degradation of the natural habitat of elephants, destruction of elephant corridors and work to improve the natural habitat through partnerships. The programme thus conceptualised, initiated and implemented by the KMFT is “The Green Village Community Forum” (GVCF). The partnership is between the Kodagu Model Forest, Karnataka Forest Department and the Communities living in the problem area consisting of coffee planters, plantation labourers, tribal settlement and the local governing body. The objective is achieved through education and demonstration. The Forest Department builds the infrastructure, while community jointly maintains the infrastructure by generating the required fund from within the community and with technical support from the KMFT. KMFT has contributed an amount of Rs. 50,000/ (Rupees Fifty Thousand only) as seed money towards the GVCF.

River Side Community Forum

KMFT has facilitated the establishment of River Side Community Forum in Porad and has initiated activities which would provide additional income to the farmers, improve their livelihood, health and education. KMFT has supplied piggery, poultry, fishery, revived apiculture and provided training regarding eco-tourism and home based crafts to all 27 beneficiaries. All beneficiaries have been covered on health insurance policies and financial assistance for education was handed over to two girl students as scholarship. As agriculture being the backbone of the community’s livelihood, an attempt was made to make farming easier and efficient in the face of labour crisis. The community was supplied with farm machineries such as sprayers, brush cutters; chain saw etc., which could be used collectively on a rental basis. A resource centre was installed at the Riverside Community Forum with an objective to provide an opportunity for the youth of the community to empower themselves for the future and also as a source of information and knowledge on all areas of interests of the community by upgrading the Centre with an internet facility in future. This project activity was funded by Canadian Model Forest Network (CMFN)

Valley Dew Community Forum

Mukkodlu village under Makkandhoor Gram panchayat was identified as wherein due to various reasons they have livelihood problems. A detailed purview of the economic status of the village was assessed through discussion with the members present. It was understood that the traditional ways of agriculture has was not economically viable and the farmers were exploring other avenues for livelihood. There was also large scale immigration out of this village and most of the farms are left fallow. There was also large scale sale of properties. It was felt that there was a need to initiate such activities which would retain the farmers. Through discussions it was felt that an integrated farming method was the most suitable option to provide a better livelihood means for the villagers. To start a community foundation activity, it was decided to initiate activities which would provide additional income to the farmers. The activities identified include piggery, poultry, dairying, apiculture, eco-tourism and home based crafts. To begin with it was thought to initiate piggery project. It was decided to take up a detailed survey to empirically establish the issues discussed. The survey would be completed by 15th July 2009. Now the piggery project is in the verge of completion and KMFT agreed to contribute matching grant.

Corporate Social Responsibility of Member Organization

Skanda Group

Skanda Group one of the stakeholders of KMFT has played active role in mitigating Human Elephant conflict and also have contributed in restoring the Sacred Groves of Thithimathi area under their CSR programme. Also involved in Community health service program with their own hospitals and de-addiction centre for life style change, as well as support for school education and sports activity in districts.


Tata Coffee Limited

Tata Coffee Ltd. One of the member organization has also been involved in mitigating Human Elephant conflict. They have also supported the forest restoration project under their CSR programme.



Rain, Flood and Landslide relief measures at Valley Dew Comunity Forum site at Mukkodlu /  Kadana Kolly by Kodagu Model Forest Trust with the kind support from Kluber Lubrication- Mysore


What we do

Kodagu Model Forest Programme (KMFP)

Degradation of natural forests

Loss of tree cover and diversity in private plantations

Loss in aquatic ecosystem, related biodiversity and depletion of ground water resources.

Economic instability and related impacts on livelihood

Lack of knowledge and awareness in environment related issues

Increase in man animal conflict

Marginalisation of indigenous communities due to improper focus on their livelihood and resultant socio-economic crisis

Degradation of community lands like sacred groves



Earth Belongs to all Species


Conservation Education on Sacred Groove


Green Village Community Forum


Earth Belongs to all Species


Saving Kodagu district's forest

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Model Forest?

A Model Forest is both a geographic area and an approach to the sustainable management of landscapes and natural resources. Geographically, a Model Forest must encompass a landbase large enough to represent all of the forest's uses and values. They are a fully working landscape of forests, farms, protected areas, rivers and towns. The approach is based on flexible landscape and ecosystem management that combines the social, environmental and economic needs of local communities with the long-term sustainability of large landscapes. The approach links a comprehensive mix of stakeholders, natural resource users and land use sectors within a given landscape and helps create a common vision of sustainability and constructive dialogue involving all stakeholders. Those involved define what sustainability means in their own context, identify a common vision and set of goals, devise a governance structure and strategic plan, then work collaboratively to achieve the goals set out in that plan. In turn, the process nurtures a depth of trust and transparency and increases the willingness to implement innovative solutions.

How are Model Forests selected?

There is no standard template for developing a Model Forest. The creativity of the stakeholders involved, as well as regional, cultural and other circumstances, will all influence the form and function of the Model Forest that is ultimately developed. While most processes have been led by a national government agency, in some areas a different stakeholder has taken a leadership role in developing a Model Forest. On average, establishing a functioning Model Forest takes approximately two years. Once a decision is made to proceed with developing a Model Forest, a letter of intent must be sent to the IMFN Secretariat or, where there is a formal regional network, via the regional Model Forest office, stating your group’s intentions. The letter of intent is the basis on which the IMFN Secretariat and regional network will work with the stakeholders to develop a Model Forest. In general, there are six basic steps that are typically followed in developing a Model Forest: 1) becoming familiar with the approach, 2) selecting an area, 3) identifying an initial stakeholder group, 4) holding workshops to discuss Model Forest development, 5) preparing a Model Forest strategic plan, 6) submitting an application and undergoing a site assessment. Depending on how much technical support is available in a region, the roles and responsibilities involved in setting up the Model Forest and in reviewing applications for membership in the IMFN will be shared between the IMFN Secretariat and a regional and/or national Model Forest network office. For more information, please go to our Model Forest Development Guide.

What influence does the Model Forest have on management of the landbase?

The Model Forest does not exercise decision-making or management authority over the territory or natural resources. All such authorities and management responsibilities remain with existing tenure holders, land owners, and land and resource managers. However, the Model Forest influences resource use in three main ways: Because the Model Forest stakeholder group includes all key resource users (government, industry, private owners, and others, for example), they are participants in defining the Model Forest, its goals, and its administration. The Model Forest undertakes projects, research, and other activities on the landbase in collaboration and agreement with the major tenure holders. Therefore, the tenure holders are significant beneficiaries of Model Forest work. The Model Forest's activity is relevant at a national policy level. Its activities and experiments point the way to applications in sustainable management within and beyond the Model Forest borders. Its influence can be considered then as being indirect, and long-term.

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The Chairman, Secretariat, Kodagu Model Forest Trust,College of Forestry Campus, Ponnampet - 571216, Kodagu District, Karnataka State, India

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