Our project “Restoring 10 sacred groves (Orans) in Rajasthan” has been working with the agro-pastoralist communities, their traditional systems and problems faced at locally and impacts of the global problems such as climate change. A number of activities are undertaken in 10 villages, such as seeking community-level observations through scientific led mix on climate change impacts on communities’ livelihoods, local efforts to cope with as well as adapt to these changes by the pastoralists’ communities, living in semi- arid and arid zones of Rajasthan. Tree plantation and water conservation demonstration are undertaken as the physical capacity building and strengthening social infrastructure measures based on the traditional systems and prevalent legal regime at local and global levels. The poverty reduction is addressed by strengthening the natural resources, and the traditional conservation practices (e.g. Oran), contribute to increase the potential area which could be declared as one of the categories of protected areas for biodiversity conservation, and help sustain the domesticated animal diversity such as breeds of buffalo and goats etc.
A seminar to discuss the ecological traditions in Rajasthan (India) was organized jointly by the Project KRAPAVIS and CPREEC, on 20th March 2013. In the seminar, different topics like sacred groves (Orans), sacred water bodies, sacred animals, sacred rivers, sacred mountains, sacred sites/ sacred gardens etc. were covered by 10 distinguished researchers. In Rajasthan, these age old practices are responsible for sustainable resource management by the communities. The goal of the seminar was to bring different organizations and individuals from the state that are working on sacred traditions, Orans, Devbanis and to deliberate on the role these rich traditions play today and how best they could be used to communities’ advantage while safeguarding culture and biodiversity.
KRAPAVIS (Krishi Avam Paristhitiki Vikas Sansthan) and LEAD India jointly organised a training workshop on Environmental Awareness on Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change, on 17-19 January 2013 at Alwar. In these three days, issues like environmental changes, its impact and adaptation strategies to conserve the degrading natural resources etc. were covered. In brief, the purpose of the workshop is three-fold:
The workshop was also supported by the Ministry of Environment & Forest (Government of India). In the workshop particiapted as many as 38 youths (men & women both). After the training sessions the participants engaged in hands on training on using different techniques for community mobilisation and awareness generation on climate change.
A group of six pastoralists’ leaders, from the KRAPAVIS project area, participated in the CBD-COP 11 (Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity), held in October 2012 in Hyderabad. Along with other pastoralists in India, they represented the concerns of pastoralists, and highlighted the pastoralists’ rights and the tension between conservation areas and pastoralists, by participating in different side events on grazing lands, indigenous breeds raised by pastoralists, animal biodiversity and so on. The group also made presentations in the events on CCAs (community conserved areas) like Orans or sacred groves, biodiversity and FRA (Forest Right Act) implementation in tiger reserve and other conservation areas. This local’s participation would certainly contribute (as hoped!) toward global biodiversity conservation and climate change policies!
The project introduces agro-forestry and soil fertility improvement techniques in adjoining of Bherunathji Oran in Bakhtpura village Rajasthan, India. Also, utilizes traditional water harvesting techniques in conjunction with the modern specific structures, which is to rehabilitate or recreate water storage structure, thereby to provide optional solutions to water dispersion in degraded land. Rain water harvesting units through ditches and trenching are being created for enhancing natural regeneration. Along with this to practice agro forestry in and around the Oran, special selected plants varieties are planted. The resources latter shall be consumed by the community. Thus, it will help to reduce the pressure on the Oran. KRAPAVIS, the project implementing organization, simultaneously support the agro-pastoralist communities with relevant knowledge and skills, giving special emphasis to women and youth on biodiversity conservation and sustainable resource management, which needed to continue the preservation of the Oran to ensure the sustainability. The Oran has environmental, socioeconomic and spiritual significance as Andhram Gujjar, a 70 year old agro-pastoralist from Bakhtpura village explains “Bherunathji to Hamara Jeevan Kendra Hai Jhan Paryavaran, Samaj Aur Dharma Sab Kuch Eak Sath Hai”. What conservationists, donors and other people think about this vital initiative?
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