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Watersheds & Ecosystems Management
Since its inception in 1993 WOTR has been in the forefront of mobilizing vulnerable communities in semi-arid and resource fragile regions to help themselves out of poverty by harvesting rainwater wherever it falls and regenerating the ecosystems they live in. We believe that the well-being and economic sufficiency of agrarian communities, is directly related to the productivity, quality, quantity and range of services that the Ecosystems they live in can provide.
New Challenges – Watershed Development in the context of Climate Change
WOTR’s concept of Watershed and Ecosystems Management in the context of Climate Change builds upon its extensive work and expertise in Watershed Development in organising communities to sustainably manage the ecosystems they live in, and bringing about an optimal equilibrium in the eco-space between natural resources, man and animals.
It roots itself in Ecosystems Management as a means to reduce risks, mitigate the impact of extreme meteorological events, increase productivity, conserve biodiversity, improve the quality of life and stabilise and enhance nature based livelihoods.
In resource fragile areas the demands and claims on the environment are enormous. Unless they are managed within the carrying capacity of the available natural resources, the local ecology and ecosystem will progressively deteriorate to a point where it can no longer provide environmental services. A degraded ecosystem further pushes the communities living within it into poverty and deprivation leading to migration. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of 2005 found that 15 of the 24 major ecosystems were either degraded or being used unsustainably.
WOTR’s Watershed and Ecosystems Management attempts to build both “hard” as well “soft” resilience within communities against disasters of slow and sudden onset such as droughts, moisture stress, infrequent and highly variable rainfall, intense precipitation, and pests and disease attacks. It is a multi-sectoral, multidisciplinary approach that involves continual interaction and exchange between and amongst the various sectors and disciplines.
Books & Manuals
Please contact us at email@example.com for hard copies of the books.
Impacts of Watershed Development Project Management through Labour and Machines: A Comparative Study of Two Villages in Maharashtra
Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Systems in Watershed Development – a Training Handbook
Watershed Voices are our special publications that recount the experiences of Watershed Development in the villages, and narrate the history, processes and impacts of the interventions.
Mukhas & Chittaphal (PDF, 3.2 MB): The tiny, remote villages of Mukhas & Chittaphal in Katni District of Madhya Pradesh have a unique story to tell – of their own rising trajectory of being neglected villages to dynamic, politically impactful villages.
Wankute (PDF, 3.7 MB), is a dry, wind-blown village of the pathars of the Western Ghats that had very little access to water. Women trudged up and down the steep slopes to fetch whatever little water they could get. Wankute’s story of its people, partnerships and perseverance today has garnered it the JSW-TOI Earth Care Award. A story worth reading, indeed.
Mandwa, (PDF, 442 KB) is a small village in Nagpur district of the dreaded Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Season upon season of failed rains had rendered the land unproductive and the villagers unemployed. But Mandwa clawed itself out of its hopeless situation through a watershed project that can be cited as a landmark success in the Vidarbha region.
Mhaswandi (PDF, 702 KB) – When the fiery furnaces of nearby charcoal kilns were fed with wood from Mhaswandi’s verdant forests, its residents were happy, cash-rich and grateful to the rich timber merchants who acted as middlemen in the sale. It took a handful of years for the forests, the merchants and the money to vanish. Mhaswandi of today has won several awards for its efforts at Watershed Development and stands as an example of what a community can do when it determines to change.
Pimpale (PDF, 800 KB) – Village Pimpale in district Nandurbar of North Maharashtra was just another of those barren and isolated places the residents of which had either resigned to their fate or migrated to the cities in search of work. The lack of water had turned the fields dry. The land was parched. Most of the houses had been abandoned. And there was this thick blanket of despair and misery.But Pimpale has cast off its slough of despondency forever. Those who had migrated returned to tend to their once forsaken fields. The availability of water due to a successful watershed program now provides up to three crop yields a year.
Purushwadi (PDF, 600 KB) – Visitors to Purushwadi, a charming village, will vouch for the fact that there is substance in the theory and implementation of how a collective effort can turn apparently impossible tasks into dreams come true. At Purushwadi, the villagers and WOTR have achieved this, working shoulder to shoulder to turn barren land into farms.