Eco Logic Newsletter-June-2011

Scenario  1:    Food  prices  have  nearly  doubled  between  2004  and  2008  and continue to remain high. Prices of staples like wheat, rice and maize doubled and tripled  in  the  last  five  years. While a range  of factors  have contributed to  food  price rises,  financial  speculation  in  agricultural  commodities,  believe  many,  has magnified  market  volatility.

Scenario  2:  Biological  diversity  --  crop  diversity  --  the  biological  foundation  of agriculture, the  raw  material of evolution in  our agricultural crops  is  crumbling; A mass extinction is  underway in  our fields, in  our agricultural system.And that this mass  extinction  is  taking  place  with  very  few  people  noticing  and  even  fewer  caring.

Scenario  3:  Climate  change  is  no  longer  an  issue  for  the  distant  future.  The  impacts of  higher  temperatures,  more variable  precipitation,  more extreme  weather  events, that  are  felt  world  over  and  more  particularly  in  South  Asia  will  continue  to  intensify .

With a  combination  of  these  3  scenarios  –  volatile  markets  and  escalating  food prices,  a  fast  depleting  bio-diversity ,  and  the  almost-upon-us  climate  change,agriculture  looks  to  be  on  the  brink  of  disaster .  What  then  are  our  options? Our  story  from  Damarigedda  in  one  such  story  which  promises  to  sustainably  adapt where  14  farmers  have  taken  up  SRI  method  for  their  rice  cultivation.  In Sattechiwadi,  a  combination  of  eco-systemic solutions,  are  proving  that  though  time is running out fast, we might still be able to back-pedal. Balu's concern about the depleting bio-diversity and his efforts  to  shore up a crumbling foundation  is  just  the beginning. And  the  questions  on Alternate  Energy    raises  questions  that  will not allow  us  to  be  smug  about  Renewable  Energy  being  a  always-there-backup.

There is  reason  why we picked  these  stories  from  our Watershed  villages  to  share. Real-life  stories.  Because  we  believe  that  in  the  context  of  the  Deadly Trio,  just development  is  not  enough.  Even  Sustainable  Development is  not  enough.  Peoplewill anyway  Adapt to  Climate Change. But who and  how?  What perhaps  could  lead us  through  the  current  chaos  is  Adaptive  Sustainable  Development...  and  these stories  are  glimpses  of  what  could  be  made  possible.

Radha  Kunke

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