Building a Resilient Future: WOTR’s 30-Year Journey in Rural India

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January, 2023

Building a Resilient Future: WOTR’s 30-Year Journey in Rural India

Investing in Our Planet's

For 30 years, WOTR (Watershed Organisation Trust) has been working towards building a resilient future for rural communities in India. Through our systemic approach, we have helped regenerate over 2.22 million hectares of degraded landscapes and created over 158 billion litres of potential water harvesting capacity.

WOTR grew out of the successful Indo-German Watershed Development Project (IGWDP) launched in 1989. Adopting an ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) approach, we work to regenerate degraded ecosystems and enable rural communities to adapt to climate change while expanding livelihood opportunities, improving health, nutrition and the overall quality of life and well-being.

Our work aims to empower communities to become self-sufficient and to build resilience to future challenges, this includes access to clean water, improved agricultural yields and diversified livelihood options. As a result, we have seen significant increase in farm incomes in our project villages, which are 2 to 4 times more than those in control villages, this is a key indicator of a resilient future for the rural communities.

In addition to our on-the-ground work, WOTR has also played an important role in contributing to policies that facilitate up-scaling of impactful social and developmental innovations. Our work has been recognized through prestigious awards such as UNCCD’s Land for Life Award in 2017 and the Kyoto World Water Grand Prize in 2009.

Through the WOTR Centre for Resilience Studies, we are also working to bridge the gap between research and implementation in the country by conducting rigorous, application-focussed studies on ground-level problems. Through this arm, we contribute high-quality, evidence-based knowledge and insights to policy formulation, program design, implementation, and capacity building.

We are committed to continuing our work towards building resilient futures for vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in rural India. Our holistic approach to rural poverty combines practice, knowledge, and policy across scales and sectors, and our systemic interventions support the sustainable growth and well-being of these communities.

As we move forward into our 30th year and beyond, WOTR is dedicated to building resilience in rural communities, by providing them with the tools and resources they need to adapt to changing conditions and to thrive in the face of challenges. We believe that a resilient future for rural communities is not just about addressing immediate needs, but also about investing in long-term sustainable solutions that promote self-sufficiency and autonomy.

We are proud of the impact we have had over the last 30 years, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners and communities to build a brighter future for rural India. Our goal is to ensure that these communities are able to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, and to create a sustainable, resilient future for generations to come.

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