Sustainability

Featured Articles
December 13, 2019 A study highlights the need to scale down the export of rice, maize, buffalo meat and other items to conserve groundwater in India.
A farmer uses a hosepipe to irrigate crops at her farm in Nilgiris mountains, Tamil Nadu (Image: Hamish John Appleby for IWMI, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
December 11, 2019 A study calls for solutions that can benefit farmers and the environment and positively impact India's nutrition indicators.
Rice field in Karnataka (Image: Guldem Ustun, Flickr Commons, CC BY 2.0)
December 6, 2019 A report by the India Rivers Forum highlights the need to focus further than the main stem of the Ganga river.
Distant snow clad mountains, the smaller hills and the Ganga river (Image: Srimoyee Banerjee, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)
December 4, 2019 To adapt well & build resilience, climate change strategies need to factor in efforts towards water security, writes Vanita Suneja, Regional Advocacy Manager (South Asia), WaterAid.
Image credit: WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanathan
December 2, 2019 Water stewardship is an approach predicated on the concept that water is a shared resource and so water risks are also shared risks that everyone in a catchment will face
Picture credit: Romit Sen
November 21, 2019 A report by NIUA brings to light the chinks in Jaipur's sewage system and suggests some solutions.
Routine check done by the sewage treatment plant staff in Delawas, Jaipur. The plant is part of the ADB best practices projects list. (Image: Asian Development Bank, Flickr Commons)
Generating demand for sanitation infrastructure
How to steer conversations and processes that help boost the motivation of community leaders to encourage better sanitation behaviour? Amita Bhaduri posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

Radharamanpada is an unauthorised slum in Angul with 300 houses. The president of the slum sanitation committee Janaki Sahu, a 28-year-old mother of four, runs a street food stall on the main road. There are seven women in the committee of eleven, working on sanitation solution for populations that remain underserved.

Project Nirmal uses appropriate communication inputs that help generate awareness about the impact of poor containment, collection, transportation and treatment systems on the environment among all stakeholders. (Image: SCI-FI, CPR)
Women hold the key to dietary diversity
A study finds that women's control over income and better decisionmaking power can go a long way in improving dietary diversity and tackling malnutrition in rural India. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

Evidence world over shows that small scale agricultural production does very little to deal with malnutrition and food insecurity among rural poor.

Empowering women to improve nutritional outcomes (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Data-driven ‘water and agriculture’ planning: The big picture
If data was better organized and available for download in more ‘user-friendly’ formats, its utilization would improve manifold. Amita Bhaduri posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

India is fortunate to have a rich tradition of public data collection and compilation.

The quality of our public data is highly variable, yet if analyses and interpretation are done keeping in mind some of the limitations, the datasets can be a precious resource at the meso and macro level. (Image: Pixabay)
Request for Proposal- Integrated Baseline Study of Raintree Foundation’s ‘Sustainable Integrated Rural Development’ Program in Rural Maharashtra
The baseline study is an integrated survey that will collect data & information tied with the performance indicators of the SIRD program, mapped out to assess the program’s long- term impact. Swati Bansal posted 6 months 4 weeks ago

Background

Not in the interest of women farmers!
The new farm related bills will spell doom for women workers who form the bulk of small and marginal sections of Indian agriculture, warns Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM). Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 7 months ago

Three farm-related Bills were recently passed in the Parliament by the BJP led government at the Center, which have subsequently received presidential assent.

Farm women, overworked and underpaid (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Groundwater recharge needs grassroots solutions: A study of two techniques in Kerala
Although groundwater is emerging as a critical issue and has managed to encourage new government schemes, a generic solution of rainwater recharge cannot be applied across different regions. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months ago

In Kerala, around half the urban population and 80% of the rural population depend on open wells on their domestic water needs. But in the last decade, the majority of observatory wells recorded an average annual decline of half a meter.

Rainwater is captured from the rooftop of the community hall and diverted to the sump before it is pumped into the open well. (Image by Authors)
A rainbow recovery post-COVID
The movement towards radical ecological democracy needs to combine the practical and policy-level grassroots work with broader mobilization. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months ago

There is a disquieting hush across the world as the linkage between the planet’s health and human well-being became pronounced during the times of the pandemic. The deepening socio-economic and ecological crises caused by patterns of production and consumption are being increasingly recognised.

The women of Deccan Development Society sanghams move towards more localized natural resource management (Image: Deccan Development Society, Facebook Page)
Forests, the fast disappearing treasure troves of forest dwellers
Rapidly disappearing forests are not only a threat to the biodiversity, but spell death knell for the livelihoods of forest dwellers who depend on them for food and survival. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 7 months ago

Forests are disappearing at a fast rate in India.

Dried mahua flowers (Image Source: Pankaj Oudhia via Wikimedia Commons)
How forest-dwelling communities are braving the pandemic
Local communities and gram sabhas better understand the local complexities than the local administrations while dealing with a crisis situation. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 1 week ago

The pandemic and lockdown measures have had a drastic impact on a large population of poor and marginalised communities, causing loss of livelihoods and employment, food insecurity and socio-economic distress. While vulnerabilities, atrocities and injustices faced by forest communities due to forest, conservation and economic policies have increased d

The non timber forest products collection season, which is mainly in the months of April to June coincided exactly with the lockdown (Image: CIFOR, Flickr Commons)
Poor implementation of forest rights act hurts tribals
Need to recognise the rights of forest-dwelling and tribal communities over their traditional lands. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 1 week ago

In pre-colonial times, India’s forestlands were mostly under the use of the local communities. Forest policies led to centralisation in colonial times with forestland being subject to commercial over-exploitation for revenue generation purposes. This, in turn, led to land alienation of forest dwellers and an overall increase in deforestation.

Indigenous groups that lived and helped maintain the forests for centuries have been undermined (Image: Baiga women, Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 3.0)