The paper ‘Biodiversity – A Key for Adaptation to Climate Change’ explores the role that biodiversity plays in shaping the adaptive response to climate change. It also documents how degradation of biodiversity can amplify the impacts of climate change, and how biodiversity itself would be under increasing threat from both the climate change and its anthropogenic response, aka adaptation, under business-as-usual economic models. It argues for community-driven, ecosystem-based adaptation, with a call to scrutinize the adaptation programmes and projects for their impact on ecosystem services, which are the true building blocks of adaptation, as also proxy indicators of the health of biodiversity.
The paper, “Energy, Development and Climate Change: Striking a Balance”, examines the energy scenario – availability, access, influence of markets and government policies – in rural India, especially in the areas where WOTR has been working. It highlights the successful partnership between local communities, with their innate grounded wisdom and local knowledge, and modern researchers and scientists willing to position their learning and experience on community science. It roots for a positioning and policy framework that broadens the scope of work from cooking fuel and lighting, to energy needs for irrigation, for trade, business, manufacturing, infrastructure, transportation and construction.
Th e Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) has been working in the Sangamner Block since the last 20 years, organizing communities regenerate the watersheds they live in and adopt sustainable agricultural practices. As part of its Climate Change Adaptation project being implemented in 20 villages of this block, WOTR, in collaboration with the Central Research Institute for Dry land Agriculture (CRIDA) has undertaken a study to develop contingency strategies to help the farmer cope with unexpected weather events and build a measure of resilience to nature’s vagaries. This publication Plan is the outcome of this effort.
The water and sanitation sector of India is grappling with the Herculean task of motivating its rural inhabitants to use sanitary facilities and make these and safe drinking water accessible.
This and other such studies made it inevitable on the part of the government to rethink its policy of rural sanitation and introduce changes. The need was to alter the approach to make it more decentralised, people-centric and demand responsive.
Participatory Net Planning (PNP), a methodology which was developed and deployed by WOTR in 1995, is now well known in India and has been widely adopted, albeit adapted to local requirements and also sometimes, differently named, in major public and donor funded watershed development projects in India.
This research report provides details about PNP including concepts, key elements and implementation. The authors have included impacts of PNP, perceptions and observations by stakeholders as well as the roles stakeholders play. Difficulties faced in the field and possibly solutions are explored, and concludes with reflections upon lessons learned.
Increasing industrialization, wasteful habits and unsustainable consumption patterns are escalating the environmental problems due to depletion of energy resources. Demands on the world’s energy requirements are increasing with growing population, economic improvement and urbanization. This increase in demand is mainly being met by non renewable sources of energy which constitute 80% of the fuel used. The unsustainable use of renewable resources and the generation of toxic wastes are destroying the biodiversity, environment and human health.
Food and nutritional security (FNS) is a complex issue given its reliance on climatic as well as non-climatic factors that are intertwined and interdependent. When climate change is superimposed, it further worsens the situation as food production,
one of the critical ecosystem services, is impacted the most.
The paper, Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change: Strategies for a Sustainable Future, examines the existing supporting systems institutional and social - especially in the semi-arid and dryland regions in India. It pinpoints key approaches within the system that work and those that require further improvement. It further proposes the approaches needed at community as well as policy level towards food and nutrition security.
Climate change is already creating a host of problems for rural communities especially those dependent on climate sensitive livelihoods such as agriculture, herding, fishing, forest produce gathering, to name a few. For planners, development practitioners and researchers the challenge is to understand how a community may be vulnerable to climate change and why. With this knowledge and information, communities can be mobilised to undertake measures that help them adapt to climate change, reduce its impacts and avoid development patterns/ mal-adaptation that may make communities more vulnerable at a later date.
This is a book comprising 8 studies on different subjects – agriculture, gender, migration, peak oil, health – in the context of climate change. This set of studies emerged as an attempt to understand the rural communities of Ahmednagar district, as WOTR initiates the project on Climate Change Adaptation. The findings of these studies throw new meaning when looked at in the light of climate change (adaptation and mitigation) and looked at together with their interlinkages, the unintended effects (positive and negative) and also our maladaptative quick-fixes. The studies bring to fore the current context and its impacts.
Watershed Organisation Trust is pleased to share the research article – ‘Community-driven vulnerability assessment and resilience building: cases from development contexts’ by Marcella D’Souza, Bhavana Rao and Suchita Awasthi in the book ‘