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Making Community Based Adaptation (CBA) strategies from esoteric to everyone’s business

May 3, 2012
Photographed and Copyright Sangeeta Agarwal WWF-India

Survey at the pilot project site, Kanpur

For improving the community based  resilience, so as to cope up with the affect of climate change, capacity development is the key.

A lot is being done in terms of developing the adaptation strategies and mitigation guides locally in both rural as well urban scenarios in India.

In the same line, the report on ‘Vulnerability assessment of ecosystem, people and livelihood’ formed a guiding document for identifying the pilots, in the most vulnerable districts in the project area, under WWF India’s Living Ganga Programme under HSBC Climate Partnership (HCP).

This study has been undertaken by combining the scientific data with communities’ perception on climatic change and its effect on them over a period of time.  It emerged from the study that implementing pilot measures, which can address these issues, could reduce prominent impacts of climate change.

The pilots have been identified in consultation with the communities, so as to provide them with an ownership in all the activities. The initiatives have been envisaged by keeping the participatory planning process at the core.

Adopting the Community Based Adaptation (CBA) strategies to combat climate change (CC) mediated water affliction, are a good starting point.  Water is quintessential for all the community-based activities ranging from potable to economic and livelihood generation purposes.

Under the Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) work component of WWF-India’s Living Ganga Program, the rural region around Kanpur and nearby districts in Uttar Pradesh, India have been identified to implement the various CBA strategies. These strategies include; rejuvenation of the wetland, which has been lying defunct, mapping the resources available in the project villages, focus group discussions and implementing sustainable agriculture practices, to name a few.

Reviving the wetland not only helps in supporting the various aquatic and migratory species of flora and fauna but also provide avenues for livelihood generation by pisciculture and cultivation of crops such as trapa (water chestnut) and so on. All these activities are being undertaken by keeping local community at the center of the planning process.

Besides the restoration of water bodies other initiatives include training the farmers on adopting best practices in agriculture, which include crop rotation, adopting organic farming practices and so on.

The farmers, especially youth, take a keen interest in alternate livelihood options of apiculture, horticulture, developing vermi-compost on their farms, for personal use as well for commercial purposes, and using bio-pesticides. These practices also prevent agriculture run-off, consisting chemicals, to the water bodies.

The team at WWF India has been working tirelessly to implement all the above-mentioned activities and the results are evident now. The goal is to spread awareness by training the pioneer and zealous farmers in the project villages so as to set examples by case studies for a wider impact of the programmatic achievements.

It is hoped that initiatives like these shall go a long way in addressing the issues facing the community based climate change adaptation strategies.

To know more about the programme, please click here.

Disclaimer: This is just a very brief overview of the Climate Adaptation work component of WWF India’s Living Ganga Programme under HSBC Climate Partnership (HCP). The views expressed are based on the experience, as a team member ,of the above-mentioned programme, until July 2011.

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