The Asia’s Linear Infrastructure safeGuarding Nature (ALIGN) project is being implemented by WWF in partnership with the Centre for Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC), and supported by USAID. 

The project management is based out of the WWF-Nepal office with three focal country programs led by WWF-India, WWF-Mongolia, and WWF-Nepal. The project includes consultations with planning institutes, financial institutes, government agencies, and experts from scientific communities to identify areas of strengthening the implementation of safeguards and building the capacity of stakeholders.  

In India, the project aims at working with the Government of India and state governments in the Terai and Assam to strengthen the in-country ability to implement wildlife-friendly, ecologically sensitive, climate-resilient, and, overall, environmentally sustainable infrastructure projects through capacity building, and government policy support. Central pillars on which ALIGN India is focused are engagement with the Government of India (Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Railways) and Non-government organizations working on linear infrastructure, engagement with Planners and engineers including curriculum development oriented to green infrastructure and engagement with financial institutes. The overarching aim is to build the capacity of institutions in these three aspects and bring cross-sectoral engagement via ALIGN.

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WWF-India in collaboration with Consulting Engineers’ Association of India (CEAI) organized first webinar on Strengthening Natural Resources Safeguards in Linear Infrastructure Development on 5th July 2024. USAID India’s Varghese Paul - Deputy Director, Environment and WASH gave the introductory remarks and explained about the history of USAID’s supports in multiple biodiversity conservation projects along with ALIGN project’s interventions in India. Mr. Sudhir Dhawan – Chairman for Asia Pacific for International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) followed with the introductory remarks and explained about the potentials of WWF-CEAI’s engagement and probable outcomes for India.

© WWF-India

Year 3 Annual Meeting in Ulaanbaataar, Mongolia

The country teams from India, Nepal, Mongolia, regional team from US and Centre for Large Landscape Conservation met in Mongolia for the annual progress and planning meeting from 17-24 June 2024. WWF Mongolia hosted the annual meeting where the country teams along with the Project Management Team (PMT) for a week and discussed on the ongoing activities of ALIGN project in all three countries. Read more...

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On 20th May, 2024 WWF-India signed an agreement with Consulting Engineers’ Association of India (CEAI). Realizing the need of collaboration in enhancing the cross learning opportunities between development and conservation sectors, the agreement aims to Raise awareness of the consultants involved in Detailed Project Report (DPR) preparation of linear infrastructures, Provide policy examples to ensure proper natural resources safeguards are well put in place in the planning, development, implementation, operation and maintenance phases of infrastructure development, support in building technical capacity who are more aware in biodiversity conservation issues by creating a forum for cross learning opportunity and fostering relationship by joint publications, collaboration and representation in national and global events. Dr. Dipankar Ghose, Senior Director – Biodiversity Conservation signed on behalf of WWF-India and Mr. Sudhir Dhawan, past president of CEAI and Asia chapter chief of  Federation of International Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) signed the agreement on behalf of CEAI.

© WWF-India

On 15th April 2024, WWF-India participated on a One-day workshop on A One-day workshop on preparation of Forest Clearance (FC), Environment Clearance (EC) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – Environmental Management Plan (EMP) proposals including Eco-friendly Mitigation Measures and Challenges with respect to Statutory Clearances was organized by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Please find the details of the workshop here.

On 13th April, 2024 WWF-India met Institute of Town Planners India (ITPI) and discussed on the need of a collaboration to capacitate planners (professional practitioners and aspiring students) on various aspects of Conservation including integrated planning approach to ensure sustainability, climate resilience, promote biodiversity conservation, promotion of ecosystem services among others. This will be expedited through a partnership agreement where professionals meet regularly to discuss on sustainable approaches through Workshops, Seminars, Webinars and Training programs.

© WWF-India
© WWF-India

WWF-India organized a Workshop with Planning students on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) as a Planning tool: Prospects and Potential on 4th April 2024 at the WWF Auditorium. A total of 54 participants attended the workshop which delivered information about the need of strategic approach of dealing with the Environmental concerns in Infrastructure planning. Dr. Sejal Worah and Dr. Dipankar Ghose addressed the workshop and highlighted on the need of collaboration with Universities to ensure new generation of Planning, Engineering and Architecture field would equip themselves with the Natural Resources Safeguards concerns in Project Planning and implementation phases. Dr. V.B. Mathur, Dr. Asha Rajvanshi and Ar. Shiv Marwaha facilitated the workshop whereas esteemed professors and students from SPA Delhi and Sushant University attended the workshop. For more details, please find attached proceeding document here.

​Meeting with Consulting Engineers’ Association of India (CEAI)
On 27th March 2024, ALIGN team met CEAI and discussed on regular engagements through collaborative efforts in incorporating Natural Resources safeguards through various short term courses through lecture series, physical workshop, seminar, and Webinar formats as appropriate. For this, a MoU will be signed between WWF and CEAI to expedite opportunities of engaging with the Engineering fraternity which works on multiple scales of Infrastructure planning, development, execution, monitoring, and operation and maintenance.

In-house meeting with Experts for the preparation of a Practice guidance for Planners, Developers and Engineers
On 18th March 2024, ALIGN team sat together with the experts Dr. V.B. Mathur and Dr. Asha Rajvansi for the development of Practice guidance for Planners, Developers and Engineers for Natural Resources Safeguards in LI development.

Meeting With Graphic Era University (Graphic Era (Deemed to be University), Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India (
On 14th March 2024, the ALIGN team met with GEU regarding the probable collaboration regarding the introduction of course on ‘Nature Engineering’ and its role in addressing the negative impacts of the Linear Infrastructure. This would be expedited through the engagement with elective courses through curriculum for students and also for the faculty through Faculty development program (FDP)

© WWF-India


The wetland saga

Why would a Ramsar site be chosen for understanding the importance of safeguarding nature in urban planning and linear infrastructure development? A wetland is often stationed at one site, and the animals visiting such a wetland are independent, often on terrestrial routes.

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Lines drawn for raptors

Vulture conservation has been an integral part of wildlife conservation in India. Observing the decline in the vulture population (of which nine species have been reported in the wild of India), the country moved an IUCN motion in 2004 for vulture conservation.

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© Somreet Bhattacharya/WWF-India


Valmiki National Park: Bihar’s Only Tiger Reserve

The forests of India are home to rich biodiversity. They also provide connectivity that helps the maintenance of healthy gene pools. The development of linear infrastructure often impedes this connectivity. Roads, railways, canals, and electric power lines are essential for developing human habitations but tend to crisscross landscapes that are otherwise safe havens for wildlife.

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