News Digest - September 2018

Ecologic Newsletter 



Women’s empowerment is a mainstay of WOTR’s work. A cross-cutting priority, gender concerns are embedded in each and every activity. In this Ecologic newsletter, we bring to you five stories of women’s empowerment - from taking initiative to solve social issues in the village, to revolutionising rice cultivation and collective efforts of men and women to shift to organic farming. We also have a final guest article that highlights the need for a market oriented approach in women’s empowerment projects. 

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On the occasion of Renewable Energy Day, or Akshay Urja Din, celebrated on August 20 every year, it is worth looking at the progress of the renewable energy industry in India in the last decade or so. India has set an ambitious target of 175 Giga Watts by 2022 as its RE target. We spoke to Ashwin Gambhir, a Fellow at Pune-based Prayas Energy Group, an advocacy body working in the field of energy policy, to get his insights on the RE space in India and how it is likely to shape up in future.

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Looking forward to The Sweet Taste of Success

On the occasion of World Honeybee Day, celebrated every year on the third Saturday of August, it is significant to note that India is today the world’s sixth largest producer of honey. Over 2.5 lakh farmers in India are involved in beekeeping or ‘apiculture’ as a business, as per the data of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

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According to some statistics, 68% of India’s land is prone to drought, 60% to earthquakes, 12% to floods and 8% to cyclones, making India one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. The incidence of such natural disasters is also on the rise in India necessitates integrated disaster risk reduction plans at national, state and local levels.  The chaos after the recent floods in Kerala show that India’s DRR strategy is still very much a work in progress.  At a time like this, the conversation about Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Disaster Management (DM) has never been more necessary.  We speak to Mandar Vaidya, a senior humanitarian and development professional with RedR India about the current state of DRR in India, its future prospects and what needs to done to make India more resilient to disasters of all kinds. 

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An era of great inventions and innovations during 19th and 20th centuries, has brought industrialization all over the world. However, the industrialization unwittingly affected the environment necessitating the need of sustainable development. The blog post ‘Integrating Sustainability and Adaptation with Development’ by Upasana Koli underlines the importance of effective monitoring systems to evaluate adaptation measures for building resilience. 

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The study 'Identifying hotspots in Land use/land cover change (LUCC) and the drivers in a semi-arid region of India' describes the last three decades of land change in semi-arid parts of Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, and the driving forces involved in the process. The study demonstrates the advantages of using satellite remote sensing techniques to monitor the land use change, which aids in planning adaptation strategies. This  ASSAR - LULC article is published in the Springer Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Journal. The journal publishes original research papers and discusses technical developments and data arising from environmental monitoring and assessment. 

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WOTR, one of ASSAR's partners in India, invited a diverse group of relevant stakeholders to the two Transformative Scenario Planning (TSP) workshops to share their views about the future of water in rural Jalna. These workshops were held in a neutral space for constructing a shared understanding of the situation and the actions they can take to address it. This report provides an overview of two TSP workshops that were held in September 2017 and February 2018 at Krushi Vidnyan Kendra, Jalna.

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Plasticulture is the application of plastics in agricultural cultivation and is fast becoming the most sought-after technique to augment farm yields and farm income. But, there is also a flip side as dangerous toxins released from the polyethylene film can remain in the soil for centuries leading to intense plastic pollution in the agricultural domain.

 

In August issue of TERI’s TerraGreen publication, Arjuna Srinidhi and Divya Nazareth discuss the pros and cons of plasticulture and conclude that we need to go beyond just the ban of plastic bags and address its use across sectors.


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WOTR’s Water Stewardship Initiative encourages farmers to see water as a shared resource, to adopt water-saving measures like drip irrigation and organic agriculture and frame water usage parameters for every crop grown in that village.The overall goal is for village-level demand-side management of water, that is equitable and fair to all stakeholders. This initiative has been covered by the Press Institute of India’s ‘Grassroots magazine’.

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WOTR’s article is published in Vanarai Magazine (Marathi) August 2018. The article ‘Krushi Sanskritit Rujtey Plastic Sanskruti’ gives an overview of plasticulture. The article written by Arjuna Srinidhi and Divya Nazareth, discusses the impact of plastics in agriculture and the pollution caused by its use and disposal. 

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WOTR Films

 
 
Hailstorms in Bhokardan (Maharashtra) March 2014 

Unseasonal rains and hailstorms damage crops and can cause immense economic losses to farmers. In March 2014, a hailstorm in the Bhokardan cluster of Maharashtra's Jalna district severely damaged the rabi crops of farmers.

Those farmers in the Bhokardan cluster who were receiving WOTR's agromet advisories, received information about the sudden rainfall, and hence could make some preparations for it.

Watch it here


WOTR felicitated by Shri. Devendra Fadnavis in 'Satyamev Jayate Water Cup 2018' 

Our Co-founder and Managing Trustee Crispino Lobo, and Sandip Jadhav, Director were felicitated by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri. Devendra Fadnavis for WOTR- Watershed Organisation Trust's role as Knowledge Partner for Satyamev Jayate Water Cup 2018. They received the honour on behalf of WOTR during the award ceremony of the Water Cup. Also present on the occasion were Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, founders of Paani Foundation.

Watch it here




WOTR's path-breaking work in combating desertification and land degradation, is now being brought out by Tudor Rose in association with UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification). Arjuna Srinidhi and Marcella D'Souza write about our work in the semi-arid regions of central India in the new international publication 'A Better World'. 

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WOTRian of the month

 
Dr. Priyank Joshi is currently Manager at the WOTR-Regional Resource Centre in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. His journey with WOTR started in 2004, and he has gained rich experience in areas including Disaster Risk Reduction, training, adaptation, tool preparation and climate change, to name a few. 



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Ecopoetry at WOTR