Concept and Philosophy

What is Upstream Ecology

All layers — social, economical and political, are linked to an ecological foundation.

The concept of 'Upstream Ecology' believes that holistic change is possible across all layers, only if it allows regeneration to happen in the basal layer. Upstream Ecology is the action of working with all the layers (in a bottom-up approach - upstream) for effective change

Ground Manifestation

The change that Upstream Ecology envisions, will manifest at the ground level with the regeneration of plant ecologies across the surface of the earth – from deltas to peaks. All land on the terrestrial surface of the earth is part of a watershed. Looking at habitats in South India, A montane forest ecology is upstream to a deciduous forest ecology lower down in the hills. In the same way a deciduous forest ecology will be upstream to Tropical dry evergreen forests that once covered most of the eastern coastal plains.

This forest type can also be upstream to another type of vegetation, such as the mangrove forest, which occurs right at the edge of a coast or in a delta.

The mangrove forest is upstream to the sea (gradient-wise). So restoring any patch of land on the terrestrial surface of the earth, is an upstream action. This action not only helps the life around that given patch, but is connected ecologically to the lands downstream.

Change in all the layers that manifest in ecological restoration, also means safeguarding of future generations and ecological processes associated with any piece of land. Time here can be seen as metaphorical downstream. Acting now to ensure such a future is an upstream action.

Cross Current

Upstream stands for going `cross-current’ to revive systems that are moving in a `down-hill’ plunge. The ecology of 'reconnecting' uses the metaphor of how fish like salmon swim upstream to reach the source of their life-cycle

Root Causes

Upstream solutions are about identifying the root of a problem, and moving up to fix issues from the source, rather than just addressing the symptoms

In The Press

About the Founder


Godwin Vasanth Bosco is the lead conservation gardener and researcher with Upstream Ecology (UE). Growing up in the vast Theosophical Society campus, attending The School (KFI) in Chennai nurtured the naturalist in him. The lush campus in the middle of a populated urban center was replete with an ancient Banyan tree, a luring mango tree, a pond, snakes, deer and all the twine, branch, bushes and sandpits an adventurous young child could explore. On vacations, Godwin travelled with family to the Nilgiri highlands, his home town and birthplace. Here he traversed the jungle, saw elephants, gaur and deer in the mist clad mountains.


This strengthened his endearing bond with the landscape, which he often refers to as "one of the greatest teachers he has come to know". His journey after school took him to Finland to study Environmental Engineering, where as an inventor, he holds two patents in alternative technology. He returned to his native landsacape and attended a Program at the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary to study ecology of mountainous landscapes. Here, his bond for this form of learning took shape. Returning to the Nilgiris, he decided to work against the all consuming forces that were destroying its native ecology. Yet the more he tried to tackle this problem, the more complex the questions and challenges became. Thus began the journey to find solutions at the grass root level and upwards.

error: Content is protected !!