- The Government of India, the Government of Meghalaya and the World Bank signed a $48 million loan agreement to support select communities in Meghalaya manage their natural resources using a community-led landscape approach.
Need for such a project
Lack of Protection
- Meghalaya’s woods are designated as ‘unclassified forests’ in the State records.
- Therefore they do not receive technical or financial support from State institutions.
- Besides, there are no institutions or legal frameworks for water management in the State.
- The state has a unique community-based natural resource management (NRM) system, which relies on its tribal population to manage its forests and other natural resources like water bodies, rivers, and springs through customary laws.
Degradation of natural landscape
- The natural resources are under severe threat from unscientific coal and limestone mining.
- Degradation of landscapes is happening as a result of risks posed by climate change.
- As a result, soil productivity has degraded considerably.
- Therefore, it is necessary to support community-led interventions to restore and sustainably manage forests, land and water resources, as well as Meghalaya’s rich biodiversity, on which 80 percent of the population depend.
- The Project will directly benefit at least one lakh rural people, half of whom are women.
- In addition, some 30,000 youth will gain from training, capacity-building and access to knowledge, innovation, and technology.
- Increase in water for local communities and improving the soil productivity through various interventions in soil and water management
- The project will strengthen local communities and traditional institutions to manage the depleting resources.
- Restoration of degraded and highly degraded landscapes under the project will increase water for local communities and improve soil productivity which will in turn increase incomes and reduce poverty.
- A special emphasis will be on creating climate resilient livelihood opportunities for communities, particularly youth and women.
- The project will prioritize around 400 villages located in ‘very critical’ and ‘critical’ (degraded) landscapes, over a period of five years, for their treatment.
- The project will extend such training to communities and project management staff at the field level.
- Next step includes Landscape planning and investments.
- Additionally, small grants will be given to kick-start innovation around natural resource management.
- Traditional knowledge will also be captured and fostered as a part of this process.
- The $48 million loan will be disbursed from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), a wing of World Bank.
- The loan has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 15 years.