Volume No. 8 Issue No.: 4 Page No.: 1005-1015 April-June 2014

 

IMPACTS OF INTEGRATED WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PROGRAM IN SOME TRIBAL AREAS OF INDIA

 

Paul Bhaskar J.*1, Lalit Pankaj2 and Yashwant Pankaj3

1. National Resource Department, Commissionerate of Rural Development, Rajpipla, Gujarat (INDIA)
2. Ministry of Rural Development, Baikunthpur, Chhattisgarh (INDIA)
3. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM), Chennai (INDIA)

 

Received on : January 25, 2014

 

ABSTRACT

 

This study been conducted to assess the impacts of the Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP) in selected tribal areas of Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, India. The IWMP strives to bring together the ideals of natural resource management and rural development through a decentralized, people driven participatory approach. This has been implemented by conducting intensive ground level door-to-door surveys, village level meetings and participatory rural appraisal techniques. To obtain a holistic picture, the social, environmental and economic impacts of the watershed program have been studied. The findings show a definite positive link between watershed management and sustainable development in the tribal areas. The program has brought about positive impacts in soil and water conservation, reduction in excessive surface runoff and soil erosion and enhancement of ground water table. This has resulted in higher agricultural and milk productivity, introduction of water efficient and environment friendly agricultural practices, improved animal husbandry techniques and better availability of water for irrigation and other domestic uses. Livelihood interventions under the IWMP have also ensued livelihood enhancement and decreased migration rates. Special emphasis on women empowerment and upliftment of the landless have also led to improved participation and decision making in planning and equitable gains from the watershed program. To have a long-lasting impact, the program needs focus on institution and capacity building which would instill the principles of sustainable management of natural resources and achieve the desired environmental performance from the program.

 

Keywords : Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP), Environmental impact, Participatory management, Sustainable development

 

 

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