24 March 2012

Review paper - Perspectives on Climate Change and the Himalayas

The first Review Paper on "Perspectives on Climate Change and the Himalayas" was published on Himalayan Voices as an outcome of a multi-stakeholder participative research. Though the impacts of these vagaries in climate would be felt all across the world, the immediate repercussions are likely to be local; and the Himalayas are especially vulnerable to these impacts. The region suffers from a severe paucity of information on status of climate change and its impacts. There is need for a sound understanding and real-time information on the nature, extent, and impacts of ecological change, such that scientific and appropriate conservation/adaptation planning and action could be undertaken, at the national and global level through area-specific research and micro-level studies involving local communities. The review paper explores some of the most pressing issues in the region pertaining to climate change, the status of research and initiatives by various stakeholders in the region and the gaps that still need to be addressed. (Read the full paper here)

21 March 2012

Agricultural implement support for flood affected farmers

Stambardo village is located in Khaltse block of Leh district. Several residents of the village were badly affected by the flash floods in 2010, with many houses severely damaged and the belongings of several households having been washed away. The village is extremely remote and the floods had also washed away the road leading to the village. As a result, the village received very little attention for relief and rehabilitation, from the local authorities, and households affected by the flood have had to, by and large, fend for themselves, and deal with the destruction caused by the floods.

Tashi Angchok (age: 44 years) is a resident of Stambardo village. He is a small farmer with a land holding of 12 ‘canals’ (around 1.5 acre). Tashi’s house was badly damaged and most of his agricultural tools were washed away. Since his livelihood and incomes were severely affected, Tashi could not purchase any replacements of the tools he had lost. Throughout 2011, he had to depend on tools borrowed from other fellow farmers for attending to his farm work. This however meant that he seldom received the tools at the right time for farm operations, since the farmers owning the tools could spare them only after they had completed the farm work in their own fields. This had meant a decline in his crop production. Some farmers had also charged him a small amount for the use of their tools, thus cutting into his agricultural incomes.

In the year 2012, the agricultural implements provided by Pragya under the project have been of great help to Tashi. Tashi says that now he no longer needs to depend on tools borrowed from other farmers and he can attend to farm activities at the right time and can expect a good crop.

14 March 2012

Skill building Training for Tour Operators

Pragya held a two-day training for stakeholders related to tourism sector in Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh. Facilitated by the Ecotourism Enterprise Cluster, the training was aimed at developing entrepreneurship and skill for tour operators and tourist guides in the region along with stimulating stewardship for conservation of the natural wealth. The training session covered: fundamentals of eco-tourism; the tourism policies in India and their significance; business planning; personality development and communication skills; tourist accommodation and hospitality; and eco-tourism as a tool for conserving the natural heritage that the region boasts of. Government officials from the Tourism Department provided valuable insights on sustainable tourism to the participants.

Bringing children back to schools

The earthquakes and aftershocks which struck Nepal in 2015 had an enormous impact on the country’s poorest communities. The effect on Nepal...