To organize and support forest dependent communities in Vidarbha, Maharashtra for more effective policies and market interventions to raise their incomes from farm and forest produce.
The project proposes to address following issues related to:
- Farm, forest and water based livelihoods for focused communities with an objective of increasing their incomes and livelihood options which are ecologically sound
- Active involvement of government programs and schemes in developing farm lands, forests and water resources of tribal and other forest dependent communities
- Community institution, NGOs and network of NGOs in the vicinity need to be capacitated by building their capacities for NRM based livelihood programs to create wider impact on communities, society and geographic areas
- Lack of awareness amongst general public groups and stakeholders about need and importance of protection, conservation and regeneration of natural resources through active involvement of communities and partnerships with government and NGOs
The project proposes to work directly and indirectly at grassroots and through the VLF ((Vidarbha Livelihood Forum)) NGO network in Vidarbha region. This will include promotion of land, water and forest based sustainable livelihoods working directly in 15 villages (10 villages of Gadchiroli districts and 5 villages of Gondia district) and also support similar activities in operational villages of VLF members in Vidarbha. The project participants are tribal and other poor forest dependent communities developing their farm lands, community forests for Minor Forest Produces and water bodies for irrigation and fisheries. Each NGO is working in at least 40 to 50 villages thus 300+ villages will benefit from inputs from this project in at least poverty-stricken seven districts of Vidarbha region.
The project will address these issues by implementing relevant schemes from concerned government agencies and by facilitating their partnership with local communities.
LONG TERM GOAL
Assured natural resource based livelihoods for forest dependent communities through partnership with development agencies. And, various stakeholders including CSOs and their networks are aware of environmental issues and start responding to them by conserving and regenerating their ecosystem around.
- Active village community institutions and their District and Regional level Federations with acquired skills in planning, implementing and managing their local natural resources for sustainable livelihoods
- Active partnerships between community institutions and government agencies for implementation of various progressive policies and programs related to agriculture, forests, water and Minor Forest Produce (MFP) resources for development of forest dependent communities.
- Increased incomes of the community from agriculture, forests especially trading of MFPs (Tendu, Moha and Bamboo) and fisheries at least by 40% from third year with assured nutrition.
- Women’s demonstrated representation at leadership, livelihood benefits, dialogue with government agencies and active participation in all decision making processes.
- Strengthened NGO network (Vidarbha Livelihood Forum) effectively managing their grassroots development programs and helping communities to access programs and schemes meant for them.
- Responsive larger public groups and stakeholders especially youth, schools/college students, medical practitioners, CSOs, environmentalists/experts, etc. and aware of the need of environmental conservation and management and propagation of the same on the ground.
- Developed Village Level livelihood Plans for implementation by seeking resources from concerned development agencies
- Capacity Building of village community leaders to help them manage their development programs in long run and evolving sustainability of land, water and forest based intervened development activities
- Technical Experts (Consultants) have been engaged for need based inputs in the areas of land and sustainable farming practices, water conservation, nursery raising and plantation, MFP processing and trading, formation and capacity building of Regional and district Federations of village institutions, promotion of fisheries, constructive dialogue with authorities and traders, use of GPS, etc., to create sustainable livelihoods.
- Staff Capacity Building and Meetings on project themes for effectively promoting and strengthening community institutions and facilitating project activities and processes at various levels (communities, development agencies, VLF members and stakeholders).
- Facilitate Partnership with government line departments for land, water and forest based sustainable livelihoods for focused communities
- District Coordination workshops with Line Departments for Partnerships and Convergence for realization of livelihood plans
- Promoting Minor Forest Produce harvesting and trading
- Marketing feasibility studies for trading of MFPs, Inland Fishing and Eco-tourism.
- Strengthening CSO Network through capacity building and field level support for wider impact on focused communities in Vidarbha Region
- Communication with diverse stakeholders for propagation of successful environmental management interventions of VNCS network for wider impact on society
- Midterm Review and End Project Evaluation for mid-term corrections, if any and learning for VNCS and stakeholders