Since 1993, RCDC (Regional Centre for Development Cooperation) has been leading work focused on natural resource management and livelihoods for the development of Odisha. We understand that a holistic approach is necessary and we now address a broad spectrum of environment and people-centred issues - from forest, water and land rights, livelihoods and mining issues, to climate change and disaster risk reduction.

Our proactive and informed approach has brought us acclaim and transformed lives in Odisha; our grassroots interventions, research and expertise informs our policy-level work, where we raise the debate and seek to influence key decision-making to bring benefits to the communities we aim to help.

The principle underlying our operations is that the appropriate management of natural resources is necessary to address current development problems in a lasting manner, and that the local communities - with their traditional knowledge and stakeholder interest - are the best managers of these resources.

History and Evolution
It was the early ‘90s of the last century. Community efforts for conserving and managing local natural resources (particularly forests) were being consolidated in Odisha, amidst a set of disturbing and confusing developments such as the JFM. There was a critical need for an external support agency that could help communities successfully overcome the challenges of this transition period.

Through a team of six enthusiastic and experienced individuals, concerned about the management of natural resources in Odisha and the welfare of the state’s poorest communities, RCDC was born. Their objective was to form an organisation that could function as a resource centre on natural resource management.With this common vision and their diverse skill sets, they came together under a unified banner to establish what would in later years become an organisation known and respected nationally and internationally for its significant contributions to research and policy in the management of natural resources.

The rapid strides made in the initial years were followed by a period of consolidation, reflection and restructuring that provided important lessons in organisational evolution and development.

Today, we have a committed team of around 100 staff, implementing programmes across Odisha and influencing important decision making on a range of themes with the fundamental aim to empower people and nurture resources.
"Rights Secured – Resources Managed and Sustained – Poverty is Past"
"To support and facilitate the struggle for rights of the poor and marginalised community over resources, opportunities, institutions and processes to improve their quality of life, economic status and ensure social uplift and environment sustainability".