The Indo-German development project of Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammernabeit (GIZ) "Adaptation to Climate Change in Rural Areas of India" aims to contribute to improving the livelihoods and adaptive capacities of vulnerable rural communities in India. It aligns itself to the Government of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change. The project focuses on integrating the issue of climate change adaptation in various sector policy decisions that reduce risk and enhance the adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable sectors and groups. It also aims to develop concrete pilot experiences on adaptation measures together with the Indian state development programmes and supports the up-scaling of successful technical and financial adaptation approaches.
For the Climate Proofing component, GIZ is supporting NABARD to assess their Indo-German Watershed Development Programme (IGWDP) in regards to observed and projected climatic changes. The approach is being piloted in two watersheds in Rajasthan (Anjeni and Rawatpura).
Since the watersheds comprise of 70% pasture land, the climate proofing approach needs to have a different perspective, focusing more on pastureland management and adaptation options being relevant to livestock &pasture land. To develop an effective strategy, it is important to understand the field status and the needs.
India being an agrarian economy is highly vulnerable to climatic changes making the farming community more sensitive. Where the rich farmers have means to cope up with the changes, small and marginal farmers are the ones who face the brunt and have lesser adaptive capacity. Many such household hence also keep livestock as drought proofing measures in case of crop failure, which is quite prevalent in Rajasthan. But to develop livestock as an adaptation option, it is not only rearing which needs attention, but pastureland management itself needs a greater understanding especially from a climate change perspective to be able to make it a viable and a sustainable option for the poor farm communities to adapt.
Adaptation to climate change in India requires integrated solutions that simultaneously address livelihood improvements, environmental sustainability, as well as growth issues. Proactive measures for adaptation to climate variability and change can substantially reduce many of the adverse impacts, and thus contribute to livelihood security of the vulnerable rural population. While climate change will affect the nation’s economy as a whole, its impact will be more severely felt by the poor who also have the least adaptive capacity.
Vrutti aims to do a baseline study to assess the legal aspects of pasture-land development/ Commons, inter-linkages with other programmes, classification of pasture-lands, ecological and anthropogenic pressures on them, assessment of ecology of pasturelands with regards to different fodder and tree mixtures and their temporal & spatial variations along with their relevance to livestock, developing a multi-species fodder cycle for watershed, assessing the influence of social hierarchy and dominance of community groups, seasonal variations and their importance, identification of possible SWC/climate proofing intervention/measures for PLD within the watersheds keeping in mind the topography, institutional structure, socio-economic & weather variability, and different types of pastureland ecology and arrive at what could be the suggested best practices in the area treatment, drainage line treatment, species selection, institutional arrangement etc for sustainable pasture land management.