Ecosystem Based Disaster Risk Reduction (ECO-DRR)

About

TIMELINE: September 2015 – August 2018

The world adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction as a roadmap to reduce disaster risks by 2025. The Government of India and international humanitarian community pledged their commitments to this framework that followed the completion of the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015). Remedying environmental degradation and improving management of the ecosystem becomes critical to address underlying causes of risks. Enhanced national awareness and capacity to undertake application of environmental tools for DRR and mainstream these into national and local development planning would make a significant contribution towards disaster risk reduction. This requires concerted action to increase awareness among decision makers and build capacities of practitioners and partners in development.

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Impact

The integration of Eco- system restoration for the conservation of natural resources, combining DRR with increase in ecosystem based livelihoods of the community was one of the main themes for sustainability under the programme. Policy advocacy at panchayat and state levels was conducted withsupport and assistance to the panchayats for organizing special Gram Sabha on DRR issues. During the programme period, special attention was given to the improvement of flood resistant varieties in agriculture. Although production of Swarna Sub1 in drought prone areas in high agricultural fields is an area of critical concern, alternative short term variety Rajendra Bhagawati was found to be effective in the drought prone areas.
The off farm livelihood interventions were diversified wherein the SHGs were promoted to improve sectoral business to increase their additional income. A series of regular meetings helped them in saving and inter loaning for small enterprises, agriculture etc.. This shows that the SHGs were stepping forward to utilize their loan for starting alternative livelihood options Of the five thematic areas of the programme, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) intervention in the PfR programme have surpassed others by achieving results through approving plan in Gram Sabha and Ward Sabha. Implementation of the approved activities was through PRI institution thereby mainstreaming DRR into their development plans.
The PfR programme has helped in collaborating with different government departments/institutions on Flood safety week, agriculture initiatives, and implementation of DRR plans and off farm livelihood with almost 8 institutions such as Disaster Management Department, KVK, ATMA, NABARD, Social Welfare Department, PRIs, Mahadalit Ayog, Water and Sanitation Department.
The programme has also helped in bringing attention of the government and international players on the issue of Kabar Tal (lake restoration). It was the DRR committee of PfR wards that took the initiative for restoration and helped in raising the issue to other stakeholders for its revival. Now, lake restoration has become a state level issue and seeing the gravity of issue, government has started the initiative to restore all the wetlands of the state. Kabar Tal is one of the largest freshwater wetland ecosystems of the Gangetic Plains located in the district of Begusarai in Bihar. It lies about 22 km from Manjhaul Block. The meandering Gandak River in northwest of the district headquarters of Begusarai formed Kabar Tal, a residual ox-bow lake. Earlier this lake was important source of livelihood for more than 200 villages. The lake was shrinking and drying up because of encroachment, blocking of the inlet and outlet and using the dried up patch for agricultural purposes. Community had started migrating to the other parts of the country for livelihood. Due to the PfR intervention, the revival plan of Kabar Tal has been developed with the help of Wetland International, the agency that has provided the technical support.