Enhancing rural livelihoods through participatory watershed development in India

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This issue of Natural Resource Perspectives from ODI (Overseas Development Institute) examines participatory watershed management in India as a means to improved rural livelihoods. India is remarkable not only in the scale of its wastelands, and in the volume of government funds committed to reversing degradation, but especially in the attempt to link environmental improvement and poverty reduction. The government's 1994 Guidelines for Microwatershed Rehabilitation envisage a high degree of participation and local autonomy in the design and implementation of rehabilitation. This paper reviews experience to date in putting the Guidelines into practice. Some of the main policy recommendations made are: donors should work closely with the Union and State governments in their implementation and avoid creating parallel delivery systems; problems lie not so much in any shortcomings in the Guidelines themselves as in the capacity at different levels to implement them; watershed management is not a panacea, it works best where it is integrated with other means of enhancing livelihoods, and needs to be tailored to local agro-ecological, socio-economic and infrastructural conditions; banks, line departments, etc. need to be engaged in this wider context; donors can best pilot new solutions to these difficulties.

Source publication information
Natural resource perspectives no. 34
Overseas Development Institute, 111 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JD, UK
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How to find this resource

Shelfmark in IDS Resource Centre
D : Agriculture and NRM : Environmental issues 5061
Post date: 01/01/2000 - 00:00