Applications are invited for research initiatives under the Research and Monitoring in the Banni Landscape (RAMBLE) Project.

The Banni landscape in Gujarat is one of Asia’s largest tropical grasslands that has a high diversity of plant and animal species including many migratory birds. The grassland is also home to several pastoralist communities that manage Banni buffalo, Kankrej cattle, Kharai and Kutchi camel. Among the changes that are taking place in the Banni are an invasion of grasslands by Prosopis juliflora, industrialisation in the surrounding landscape, altering hydrological regime and shifts in livelihood strategies. The Banni grassland offers a unique opportunity to study a rich bio-cultural landscape.

We invite applicants for field studies on the interactions amongst pastoral practices, ecological responses, social context and economic outcomes in the Banni ecosystem. More specific themes include:
• Long term faunal and vegetation dynamics under changing climatic, edaphic, and grazing regimes
• Understand the livelihood strategies, household economics and market linkages of pastoral, agricultural and biomass dependence in the Banni ecosystem.
• Institutions, rules and practices governing grazing practiceand grassland management.

Up to 5 projects will be supported per year. These funds are meant to support field research that uses facilities at the RAMBLE field station. Budget should not exceed INR 200,000 and should include costs for the use of the Banni field station and vehicle (please see field station rates)

How to apply: Candidates are strongly encouraged to contact one of the RAMBLE partner organisations/researchers to discuss their ideas and obtain inputs prior to submitting an application.

Applications should include curriculum vitae and names of 3 referees and uploaded in the relevant sections of the application.

To apply, send mail to:   banniresearch@gmail.com

Research Supported by RAMBLE Indraji Thaker Research Fund

The Indraji Thaker Research Fund, named in the honour of a senior botanist who worked diligently on the flora of Kachchh, supports researchers who wish to work in the Banni landscape. The socio-ecological system of Banni offers numerous possibilities of conducting research on subjects ranging over a broad spectrum that involves grassland ecology, environmental science and anthropology among other topics. In addition, the research centre in Hodka provides logistic support that includes accommodation, basic equipment, travel and field assistance. Click here for the list of researchers currently undertaking projects under this funding opportunity in Banni

Other Projects Supported by RAMBLE

Apart from fellowships offered to the projects that are conducted over months or up to a few years; RAMBLE also supports multiple short-term projects. Since the research centre was set up in Hodka village in Banni in the year 2012, numerous researchers have used its facilities to conduct rapid surveys and workshops related to pastoral systems. Such activities include studies of local architecture, documentation of livestock breeding practices, and avifaunal and floral surveys.

Recently, Srishti School of Arts from Bangalore has been involved with making of films on the local pastoral culture in Bannias part of their training programme. Numerous students from Srishti visit Banni to learn filming and to make their own films, in turn showcasing Banni in a very exciting medium. Such activities are playing an important role in bringing forward the local culture and environmental issues to a wider audience across the globe.

Long-term Monitoring Programme

Long term monitoring of the dynamic Banni landscape has been one of the major goals of RAMBLE since the start. The monitoring mainly involves documentation and analysis of woody and herbaceous vegetation and soil across seasons every year. For this, numerous fixed transects located all over Banni are used to enumerate number of species of vegetation and their abundance by using the point intercept method. In addition, detailed measurements of woody vegetation, mainly the Prosopisjuliflora is carried out as part of the survey. Soil samples are also collected along these transects and analyzed for soil quality and related chemical parameters. This is a large scale work which needs additional support from volunteers and interns at times.



Contact Information

Banni Research Centre,Hodko, Bhuj
E-mail: banniresearch@gmail.com