About us

The Forum for Law, Environment, Development and Governance (FLEDGE) was established as a not-for- profit Trust in 2014 under the Indian Trusts Act (1882) to facilitate knowledge driven actions linking environment, development science-policy- practice. FLEDGE aims to accelerate use of modern technology and science to deliver development goals at local level, combining experiences from local to global. FLEDGE is designed as a federated platform with an aim to bring experts, practitioners and solution-seekers onto a common forum that discusses, designs and delivers solutions that are responsive and relevant at local, national, regional and global levels.

Our Story

From a very modest beginning in 2014 that combined the vision of its founding Trustees who brought with them experiences from national and international organizations, including the United Nations, FLEDGE focuses on the following primary areas of work

  • Sustainable Development Practice
  • Conservation Futures
  • Legal and Regulatory processes that achieve Equity, Access to Justice and Rule of Law
  • Science-Policy- Practice Links
  • Biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge, and Health
  • National and International Policy Making

Board of Trustees

Mrs. Annapurna Pisupati

Managing Trustee

Mrs. Annapurna Pisupati is an accomplished educationist with passion in shaping the future
of children with intellectual disabilities. A trained special needs teacher, Mrs. Pisupati brings
with her more than a decade of experience in pedagogical research, teaching in countries like
Sri Lanka, Japan, Kenya and India.

Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati

Trustee & Chairperson

Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati is an internationally renowned conservation and development specialist with close to three decades of experience working at national, regional and international levels, holding positions such as Vice-Chancellor, TransDisciplinary University (TDU, India), Chief of Biodiversity, Land Law and Governance programmes at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, Kenya), Senior Policy Fellow at Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI, Norway), Chairman, National Biodiversity Authority-Government of India (NBA, India), Coordinator, Biodiplomacy Programme at United Nations University (UNU-IAS, Japan), Head, Regional Biodiversity Programme for Asia at the World Conservation Union (IUCN, Sri Lanka), Head, Biodiversity and Biotechnology programme at the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF, India). He has advised more than 30 countries, globally, on conservation and development policy and served as advisor to international bodies such as China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, China, the UN Secretary General Task Force on Technology Mechanism and others.

Dr. Shamnad Basheer


Dr. Shamnad Basheer is an accomplished legal professional in India who won the first Infosys Prize for Humanities in 2015 in India. An accomplished educationist in law, Dr. Basheer is currently the Visiting Professor of Law at National Law School University, Bangalore and Honorary Research Chair Professor of IP Law at Nirma University in India. He began his academic career by joining the George Washington University Law School in Washington DC as the Frank H Marks Visiting Associate Professor in IP Law. In 2008, he returned to India, joining the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata as the first Ministry of Human Resource Development Chaired Professor in Intellectual Property law.


United Nations Environment Programme

M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

Skill Council for Green Jobs


Founding Partner


Ministry of Environment, Government of Peru

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

United Nations Environment Management Group (EMG)

Nature For All

International Trade Center (ITC) Sustainabiity Xchange

South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP)

United Nations Development Programme

Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology

Jawaharlal Nehru University

Foundation for Ecological Security (FES)

Center for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL)

Senior Advisers

FLEDGE is supported by a set of senior advisers who are national, international experts on issues of interest to the organization.

Timothy Hodges

President, World Foreign Services Association, Prof. of Practice, Institute of Study of International Development, McGill University, Montreal Canada

His areas of specialisation includes Foreign Policy, Trade, Access to genetic resources and Benefit Sharing, Convention on Biological Diversity and International Negotiations

G. Anathakrishnan

Founder, The Future We Want, Oslo, Norway and Former Senior Advisor, UN-HABITAT

His areas of specialisation includes Urban Development, Water
Security and International Policy

N. Sunil Kumar

Senior Vice President, Royal Bank of Scotland, N. V and Director, RBS Foundation, Mumbai, India

His areas of specialisation includes Business and biodiversity, Corporate Social Responsibility, Community Empowerment, Conservation action

Sarath Kotagama

Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka and Founder Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka

His areas of specialisation includes Biodiversity conservation, Ornithology, Environmental education, Policy research and Species restoration

Erach Bharucha

Director, Institute of Environment Education and Research, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune, India and Former Chairman, Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board

His areas of specialisation includes Environmental Education, Conservation, Culture, Traditional knowledge and Capacity building

S. Elumalai

Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai, India

His areas of specialisation includes Law, Environmental policy, Human resource development and traditional knowledge

Dr. Balakrishnan Nair

Hon. Advisor

His area of expertise is ethno-veterinary medicine and capacity building,

Ms. Hanying Li

Hon. Advisor

Ms. Li is the IUCN CEC regional vice-chair for North Asia and is an accomplished conservation scientist with focus on China and North Asia.

Kabir S Bavikatte

Executive Director, Christensen Foundation, California, USA

His areas of specialisation includes Community rights, Access to genetic resources and benefit sharing, Environmental Law and Policy

M. Padmavati

Associate Professor, Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, IIT Kharagpur Kharagpur, West Bengal, India

Her areas of specialisation includes Patent Law, IP management, Biodiversity Conservation, Indigenous and traditional knowledge management, Agriculture

Suneetha M Subramanian

Biodiplomacy Programme, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan

Her areas of specialisation includes Traditional knowledge, Economics, Health and biodiversity, Access to genetic resources and Benefit Sharing

Ranjith Mahindapala

Former Regional Programme Coordinator, IUCN Asia

His areas of specialisation includes Biodiversity policy, Species conservation, Programme management, Monitoring and Evaluation

Gladman Chibememe

Chibememe Earth Healing Association, Harare, Zimbabwe

His areas of specialisation includes Community development, Bio-entrepreneurship and Traditional knowledge

M K Ramesh

Professor of Law, Chair – Urban Poor and Law, National Law School University of India, Bengaluru, India

His areas of specialisation includes Environmental Law, Climate policy, Human resource development, Biodiversity law and policy

Dr. Atul Kumar Gupta

Former PCCF and Head of Forest Force and Member Secretary, Tripura Biodiversity Board

His expertise lies in the areas of conservation, forest management, governance, local livelihood security and empowerment.

Dr. Aleksei Zavarzin

Hon. Advisor

Dr. Zavarzin is currently the Vice-Director of N I Vavilov Centre for Genetic Resources based in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is an accomplished agro biodiversity conservation specialist

Robert Lamb

Special Senior Advisor for Biodiversity, Berne, Switzerland

His areas of specialisation includes Biodiversity Policy and Law, International Negotiations, Synergies and National Strategies for Conservation

L. Pushpakumar

Sr. Associate Professor, Department of Law, Nalanda University, Rajgir, India

His areas of specialisation includes Environmental Law, Human Resource Development, Access to genetic resources and Benefit Sharing, Biosafety and International Negotiations

Ainun Nishat

Former Vice- Chancellor, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

His areas of specialisation includes Climate Change, Water resources management, Transboundary cooperation, biodiversity conservation

Anju Sharma

Director, Oxford Climate Policy, Oxford, United Kingdom

Her areas of specialisation includes Climate policy, Adaptation, Negotiations and UNFCCC

Deepta Satheesh

Director, Design+Environment+Law Laboratory, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, India

Her areas of specialisation includes Design Research, Planning and Design, Sustainability, Environmental Education, Communication and Awareness.

Gopikrishna Warrier

Senior Editor, Mongabay-India

His areas of specialisation includes Media, Training, Reporting and Awareness raising

Alphonse Kambu

Papua New Guinea

Alphonse is an environmental lawyer specialising on issues of community rights and conservation. He has held positions such as Director of Ishiikawa International Cooperation Cooperation Centre, Policy Officer, UN Environment and is currently advising UNDP on issues of ABS.

The Team

Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati

Chairperson and Trustee

Mr. Reynaldo Morales

Hon. Foreign Fellow

Mr. Sachin Sathyarajan

Research Fellow

Ms. Shova Devi


Ms. Alphonsa Jojan

Hon. Fellow

Ms. Purnima Mahajan

Student intern

Ms. Rimsha Hamza

Student intern

Ms. Shalini Iyengar

Hon. Fellow

Mr. Anirudh Chakradhar

Visiting Fellow

Ms. Swati Krishnamurthy

Student intern