The principle reason for selecting the forest dwellers practicing various forms of agriculture as the principle target group is that they form part of the DMMMSU mandate, being resource-poor people living within its area of influence. These people are of great concern to the government and it is in the national interest to ensure that their livelihoods are protected or developed as more and more pressure groups are established.
In order to facilitate a concerted effort on watershed management and agroforestry, DMMMSU created the IAWM in 1999. The new institute is responsible not only for educating students and undertaking research but also to taking a direct and practical lead in mitigating the effects of land degradation and improving the livelihoods of the inhabitants. This project will contribute towards the strengthening of this new institute.