Community Watersheds for Sustainable Development and Improved Livelihoods in Dryland Areas of Asia

Wani, S P and Sreedevi, T K and Wangkahart, T and Dixin, Y (2009) Community Watersheds for Sustainable Development and Improved Livelihoods in Dryland Areas of Asia. In: International Conference "Water, Environment, Energy and Society" (WEES-2009), 12-16 January 2009, New Delhi, India.

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Rainfed areas constitute globally 80% of cultivated area and will continue to contribute significantly for global food security. The crop yields in the farmers' fields in rain-fed areas of developing countries are lower by two to five folds than the achievable yields. Rainwater use efficiency is generally very low. In order to achieve food security and reduce poverty, rainfed agriculture needs to be upgraded by adopting community watershed approach for sustainable development. Watersheds are not merely hydrological units but. are dynamic systems comprising human beings and animals; and link upstream and downstream areas and are prone to a number of externalities. India has adopted watershed approach over time for development of rainfed areas and substantial investments to the tune of US$ 6 billion have been made till 2006. However, the performance of the watershed program is not to the desired level as 66% of the programs are performing below average. Recent comprehensive assessment of watershed programs in India [evealed that community watersheds not only for soil and water conservation measure but also need to be holistic and inclusive addressing equity and gender concems, productivity enhancement, employment generation, income enhancement and also building resilience of the community and the natural re sources to meet the challenges of the future including climate change. This paper describes the importance of rainfed agriculture and shortcomings in the current watershed programme and new paradigm of community watershed development along with insights by learcings from large number of watershed programs in Asia.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Others > Watershed Management
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2011 11:14
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2011 04:08
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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