India

Summary of EA programme

The programme prioritizes, bottom-up, participatory, management and protection, of two vital natural resources: surface water (rivers, streams and wetlands) and forests (rainforest and (semi-) dry deciduous).

Additionally the programme emphasizes that both human livelihoods and flora and fauna habitats need to be safeguarded (this includes attention and support for protecting vital ecosystem services: hydrological, pollination, the integrity of natural food chains).

The emphasis of the India country programme is on the ecosystem & livelihood nexus which will be made concrete by working from two, complementary and interwoven, angles: (i) Wildlife protection (this includes the program addressing increasing man-wildlife conflicts), and (ii) community rights & livelihoods (this will include, for example, steps to assist local community nature management and wise use initiatives to gain the status they need to enjoy recognition and protection vis-à-vis corporate sector, traders and government).

The programme will analyze and call attention for the realities of forest dwellers and inhabitants of wetlands: how collection of food from the wild (NTFPs) and production of food items (fruits, food grains, vegetables) are fully dependent on biodiversity and agro-biodiversity (e.g. in mixed agro-forestry systems).

The EA India program follows a three-pronged approach:1) capacity building of CSOs (incl. EA key partners) and CBOs; 2) to enhance the effective involvement of these two groups in securing livelihoods (poverty alleviation), 3) and a role in policy development, reform and implementation. These three intervention levels are closely intertwined. Capacity building activities aiming at awareness raising and training (e.g. negotiation skills) will in most cases be directly geared to strengthen CSOs and/or local communities participation in policy discussions at local, state or national level or even at international fora (e.g. RSPO, CBD).

The program will develop and combine both soft and hard approaches: soft being, e.g., training, legal literacy, food festivals. Hard issues emerge where one actually meets/confronts the opposition (e.g. a mining company). By combining hard and soft approaches one may more easily gain acceptance of one stand. It is also to create good will: for instance by supporting the government through soft approaches such as by providing health care or education within the framework of government programs. This calls for joint learning: where do our methods work and where do they fail? What can be replicated or up-scaled? What is lacking in our movement. How can we reach out to on-orthodox players, e.g. from the corporate sector and government? Who are our potential allies?

Main background facts to the EA interventions

The main partner organisations and the respective projects are: • Keystone Foundation: overall coordination and projects ‘’Using multi-disciplinary approaches for ecological and livelihood security in the Western Ghats ‘’ (in collaboration with Prakhruti) and ''Precluding human wildlife conflicts in the Western Ghats, a participatory approach to advocacy measures'' (Western Ghats) • LIFE (Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment): ‘’Empowering communities to protect ecosystems through effective participation in environment impact assessment processes’’ (Western Ghats, Central India and Eastern Ghats) • NCF (Nature Conservation Foundation India): ‘’Reconnecting landscapes and people in Western Ghats: reducing conflict and enhancing landscape-scale conservation through research, restoration and outreach’’ (Western Ghats) • PPCC (Palni Hills Conservation Council): "Mountain Marsh restoration and Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest Conservation at Palni Hills" (Western Ghats) • PRERAK: “People’s empowerment through regeneration, conservation, protection of natural resources for sustainable livelihoods’’ (Eastern Ghats & Central India) • RCDC (Regional Centre for Development Cooperation): ‘’Save Eastern Ghats Odisha Ecosystem’’ (Eastern Ghats) • Samata (in collaboration with Vikasa): ‘’Eastern Ghats Ecosystem Protection and Management’’ (Eastern Ghats) • WTI (Wildlife Trust of India): ‘’Working with communities to conserve wildlife in Central India’’ (Central India)

Geographical and thematic focus areas

Geographical focus areas:
Western Ghats: Utara Kannada in Karnataka, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Nelliyamaphaty Hills & Anamalai Hills in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Eastern Ghats (in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkand and Chhattisgarh)
Central India a.k.a. Deccan Plateau (in Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra and Chhattisgarh)
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Thematic focus areas:
Ecosystem & livelihoods: Participatory water and land use planning and implementation (incl. forests, drylands wetland, rivers) to achieve equitable and sustainable natural resource management.
Greening the Economy: The improvement, advancement and on-the-ground monitoring of the implementation value chain standards for agri-commodities & minerals.
Climate, ecosystems and people: Equitable ecosystem-based climate change mitigation and/or adaptation measures.