India and Nepal: South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy

** This page is not updated anymore. Siemenpuu's regional programmes were in use until the end of 2017. SADED projects are now under the Just transition to ecological democracy funding cluster **

South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy (SADED) promotes the access of marginalised groups to decision making on natural resources. Through locally-established action groups, SADED focuses particularly in questions concerning food security and the climate and in building up the autonomy of communities. The purpose of the network is to bring new perspectives into social dialogue and to encourage people to critical thinking and observation.

SADED aims at bringing representatives of concerned communities into dialogue with authorities, researchers, reporters, politicians, representatives of the business sector, and social movements and activists. Since the Indian NGO field is highly fragmented, it is important to bring together people working on the same issues in different sectors.

Environmentally sustainable, more equitable and egalitarian ways of alleviating and solving environmental problems are approached through dialogue. Various public events, workshops, seminars, publications and reports serve as channels for this dialogue.

Underlying global structures are also taken into consideration in analyses based on local knowledge. SADED has actively taken part in the World Social Forums. SADED is part of the international Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam network, which promotes dialogue on different aspects of democracy. SADED has long-standing relations with development-critical and socio-political networks in Finland and Scandinavia. The Siemenpuu Foundation has provided funding to SADED since 2002.


Administratively, SADED functions as a project of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), a development studies institute located in Delhi, but the contribution of volunteers is very important to the continuity of the network's operations. Within India, SADED operates mainly in Delhi, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

The network also operates in Nepal and Pakistan with the aim of introducing and strengthening aspirations related to ecological democracy in the entire Himalayan region. In Nepal, SADED is currently active in three counties organising village-level meetings. The network engages in climate work in the highly vulnerable Himalayan region, where the melting of glaciers and flooding of rivers have far-reaching consequences for the ecosystems and the lives of people in the entire region. The aim is to prevent and alleviate the deepening of the crisis in the region.


Himalayan Day is celebrated on 9 September in Himalayan Region, due to the cultural, ethnic, ecological and economical values of the Himalayas to the region. In Finland, the Siemenpuu Foundation organized some Himalayan Week events in 2014.

On 9 Sep 2015, SADED and Prof. Jayanta Bandyopadhyay sent the following video greeting to Finland




Publications from the supported projects

In Nepal, SADED-Nepal produced a 15-min video after the devastating earthquake in April 2015. The video calls forth a question of models of reconstruction: Should the reconstruction of houses be built on traditional or modern knowledge? What is affordable, and what is safe? What is the role of communities, what is the role of governments? The video describes the role SADED-Nepal has taken in the reconstruction work of the Himalayan communities.





Sorry no projects available.

South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy (SADED) verkosto pyrkii syventämään ymmärrystä ekologisesta demokratiasta ja sen globaalista kontekstista sekä tuomaan käsitettä näkyvämmin esiin kansalaisyhteiskunnan ja poliittisten elinten parissa käytävässä julkisessa keskustelussa. Toiminnan painopiste on Intiassa, mutta toiminnalla on myös vahvat laajemmat eteläaasialaiset ja globaalit ulottuvuutensa.


[Ruby van der Wekken] From 13th to 15th November I had the pleasure of spending 48 hours with Siemenpuu partner South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy in Nepal (SADED-Nepal), before heading on to India for a visit with its older sister organisation, SADED India.


Siemenpuu Foundation’s SADED cooperation programme and the Department of Geography and Geology of the University Turku brought the annual Himalayan Day to Finland on 9th September, 2014. The event, which was held at the International Cultural Centre Caisa in Helsinki, aimed to stir up conversation on the essential role of the Himalayas in the political, economic and socio-cultural development of Southern Asia, and on the challenges that the communities of the Himalayas face as climate change proceeds.


What do people do when they meet health problems in India? What is the role of non-modern health practitioners? These were some of the issues discussed in the dialogue organised by SADED's Health Swaraj Group in Delhi on 20-21 May.