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Biodiversity & Eco-System Services
WOTR’s integration of Biodiversity concerns builds on the close bond between the local biodiversity, sustainable regeneration of ecosystems / watersheds and sustainable development of resilient communities.
Biodiversity plays a crucial but often underestimated role in the mitigation of climate change. Local communities significantly depend on locally available flora and fauna for food, water, energy, health and livelihoods especially during lean and stressed periods. A robust flora and fauna enables optimum water conservation, percolation and storage, the creation of biomass, nutrient storage and recycling as well as secures and promotes biotic genetic diversity. Healthy ecosystems also play a crucial role in mitigating the impact of climate-induced disasters. They have a high capacity to absorb torrential rain, reduce the erosive impact of intense precipitation, slow down the surface run-off and support the seepage of rain water into the soil and lower rock beds.
Biodiversity, thus, plays a key role in sustaining local communities, disaster risk reduction and protecting the natural processes and services provided by ecosystems. Since it gets easily affected by and in turn influences local agro-meteorological conditions, its conservation and protection is crucial in mitigating the impacts of climate change and promoting adaptive responses.
WOTR’s integration of Biodiversity concerns involves creating an awareness in the community about the importance of promoting, conserving and protecting the local biodiversity, helping them keep a record of the local biodiversity through participatory mapping of the same, helping set up People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR), identifying and sustainably promoting biodiversity-based livelihoods and economic activities. This is done by capacitating the community in conservation and protection of their local flora and fauna, and address likely adverse biodiversity-related of impacts of decisions taken by the local bodies.
These initiatives and interventions are funded by Swiss Agency for Development Co-operation (SDC).