UWC Mahindra College seeks a peaceful and sustainable future so we have designated our entire campus as a protected area within the greater Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot. The Western Ghats (Sahyadri Hills) are a mountain range that run North-South along the western coast of India famed for both its rich wildlife and colourful history. Accepted in 2012 by UNESCO as a world heritage site, the forested mountain chain where our campus is located is recognized as one of the world’s eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity with ~1800 endemic species.
In 2006, UWC Mahindra College launched the Van Vihar Biodiversity Park & Reserve officially protecting the ecosystems on our 175 acre campus. The Biodiversity Park covers approximately one-third of our campus including walking trails through reforested habitats, medicinal plant gardens, and landscaped green areas. The Conservation Reserve represents the majority of our campus area and is bordered by a Sacred Grove, Maharashtra Forest Land, agricultural fields, and a new residential development.
As one continuous piece of land, our campus management prevents unsustainable human activities, provides corridors for higher fauna, and an ever-growing core habitat for threatened species. Additionally, the Van Vihar Biodiversity Park & Reserve serves as a focus for reforestation and soil conservation efforts in the area. Tree planting campaigns, watershed restoration projects, and fire risk mitigation restore our ecosystems and provide employment opportunities for local residents. It is our hope that our efforts to tackle environmental degradation and reduce our carbon footprint may serve as a model for others in the Western Ghats and around the world.