Anil Kumar Bhardwaj, Senior Fellow


Anil Kumar Bhardwaj, M.Sc, M.Phil, Ph.D
Senior Fellow
Former PCCF & CWLW
Head of Forest Force

Phone : 0135-2646331(O), 9412056376
E-mail: anilbhardwaj [at] wii [dot] gov [dot] in

I obtained my Master’s and M.Phil degrees in Botany from Punjabi University, Patiala in 1982. After working as a college lecturer in initial years, I joined Indian Forest Service in 1985 and was allotted to Kerala cadre. I underwent my Post Graduate Diploma Course in Wildlife Management from Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in 1991. I also got my specialized training in Participatory Management of PAs from Kasetsart University, Bangkok. I have 33 years of working experience in the field of forestry and wildlife conservation, both as a field practitioner and academic professional. I have managed a number of Protected Areas (PAs) in southern Western Ghats of Kerala. During my tenure as a Director of Periyar Tiger Reserve, I initiated participatory management approaches through ecodevelopment programme which transformed this tiger reserve as one of the model areas for participatory PA management in the country. Concept of Foundations initiated in Periyar during my period, has now been extended at to all the tiger reserves in India. These approaches were later replicated in entire of Kerala and are also now being expanded to large landscapes in the country. Periyar has been designated as one of the field learning centres of India for capacity building of forestry staff and other stakeholders in landscape conservation.  

I have worked in WII as a faculty scientist on deputation for about 15 years since 1996. During my three deputation tenures in this institute, I got the opportunity of looking after the activities of two important departments as ahead i.e. Department of Ecodevelopment Planning and Participatory Management and Department of PA Network, WL Management & Conservation Education. I also got the experience of coordinating and implementing a series of major participatory projects of WII. This includes WII-UNDP project for wildlife and ecodevelopment planning; WII-UNDP project for Wildlife Management in Jaldapara, West Bengal; Forest, Research, Education and Extension Project (FREEP) for Great Himalayan National Park and WII- Ford Foundation Project on Building Partnership for Biodiversity Conservation in Rajaji National Park, etc. I was also involved in designing and field testing of competence based training programmes for forest managers and other stakeholders in the area of Community Participation in Biodiversity Conservation. Continuing my interest in participatory approaches, I worked for my Ph.D on “Assessment of ecodevelopment initiatives in Periyar Tiger Reserve of Kerala, India” during 2008.

During my later period in the institute, I looked after the responsibility of other two important initiatives of WII. These are Protected Area Mapping for India and World Bank supported landscape conservation initiative named “Biodiversity Conservation and Livelihood Improvement Project (BCRLIP)”. Under this project my major contribution was in terms of designing of training programmes for landscape conservation for different stakeholder and also steering capacity building programmes of WII as National Training Coordinator. Other major initiatives of WII in terms of my involvement were training of Forest and PA managers; Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Tiger Reserves, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries; evaluation of Biosphere Reserves and Management Planning of PAs.

In my cadre state of Kerala I have looked after a number of major responsibilities. This includes management of Human Resource Development, Forest Management Information System (FMIS) and Social Forestry wings of the state. In 2017, I worked as the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state. I superannuated as Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force, Kerala on 28th February 2018 and have joined WII on 11th June, 2018 as Senior Fellow.

My major areas of interest are park-people interface, community livelihoods and biodiversity conservation, ecotourism and management planning for protected areas & large landscapes. I am member of IUCN SSC Sustainable use Group, World Commission on Protected Areas and Biodiversity Conservation Society of Kerala.