Biodiversity Conservation through Community based natural resource management
The project on "Biodiversity Conservation through Community based Natural Resource Management", supported by Govt. of India–United Nations Development Programme has a budget of 25 million rupees and endeavours to conserve biodiversity & natural resources through participatory management & decentralisation of governance by providing alternative livelihood sources and skill up-gradation to the marginalised & poor.
This project, being implemented since September 2008, covers a population of 6,287 in 12 villages of Digapahandi, Balugaon and Padiabahal forest ranges respectively in Berhampur, Khurda and Sambalpur (South) forest divisions. Regional Plant Resource Centre, Bhubaneswar is the State Level Nodal Agency for the project that will continue till December 2012.
Conservation of semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forest habitat in Khurda and dry deciduous forests in Sambalpur (South) is the focus of the programme. Development of ex-situ nursery to conserve the RET (Rare, Endangered & Threatened) and medicinal species as well as wetland biodiversity conservation in Berhampur are important aspect of project interventions.
Strengthening of traditional livelihoods through capacity building, infrastructure creation and input supply has been the strategy of project interventions to compensate the income forgone by community in protecting the habitat. Alternative livelihoods, identified through micro level planning, are promoted so that women SHGs benefit the most. Handholding support is provided to community institutions for creating viable enterprise that can be managed and sustained by the local community.
During the year 2010–11, the following major activities have been conducted in the three implementing forest divisions.
Ghodahada reservoir, a major wetland, spreads over approx. 5 sq. km. and is a habitat of about 40 riverine Mugger crocodiles. Local fishermen undertake reservoir fishing by canoeing and netting. These fishermen of Maa Bankeswari Primary Fishing Cooperative Society have taken fishing rights in the reservoir from Fishery dept. Country boats have been provided to poor fishermen, 0.12 million fish fingerlings of two local varieties have been released in the reservoir and monofilament fishing nets of 155 kg. have been given to fishermen whose nets were damaged by reservoir crocodiles.
|Release of fish fingerlings in reservoir in Berhampur
||Boats provided to fishermen
These fishermen community make rice-puff at home and sell those in nearby areas during winters, when fish availability decreases. To strengthen their alternative income earning opportunity during lean catch season and to ensure availability of fish for crocodiles, a rice-puff making machine having a capacity to produce 200–250 kgs. of rice-puff per hour has been installed. This production unit was inaugurated by the Minister for Revenue & Disaster Management, Govt. of Odisha.
|Inauguration by Hon'ble Minister, Revenue & Disaster Management
||Villagers of SHG operating rice-puff making unit
||Rice-puff & black-gram in different sachets
65 families of Balighai village were provided with 15 Banraj breed chicks each for alternative livelihood.
One 2 HP water pump was given to the farmers of Mahulpada village for agricultural improvement.
100 coconut saplings have been planted as "Avenue plantation" in Gundriguda village and another 100 coconut saplings have been planted by the 10 families of this village.
3 vermi-compost pits have been created in project villages.
A Community Hall has been constructed to enable Village Cluster Committee (VCC) to organise its meeting as well as conduct training programmes and awareness generation events.
The Community Hall was inaugurated by Dr. Ajay Kumar Mahapatra, Chief Executive, Regional Plant Resource Centre
A 'Balwadi' Centre was constructed in the most inaccessible Mahulpada village for the benefit of children up to 6 years age and pregnant as well as lactating women. Convergence with Women & Child Development department has also been made for provision of services.
700 nos. staggered trenches and 15 nos of gully plugging units have been constructed for "Soil & Moisture Conservation" (SMC) in Gaida DPF.
In Gaida DPF, regeneration cleaning work was done in 40 hectares and replacement plantation as well as 2nd weeding has been done in 100 acres.
Silvicultural cleaning of 'Biodiversity Park' located inside Ghodahada reservoir was also done.
A documentary film on biodiversity of Ghodahada reservoir and Gaida DPF prepared to disseminate information on project activities and generate awareness among project villagers was released by Hon'ble Chief Minister, Odisha on World Environment Day 2010.
World Wetland Day was celebrated on 2nd of February '10 by organisation of community meetings.
A Health camp was organised by the VCC on 08.12.2010 in association with Rotary Club of Berhampur. Nearly 319 people were treated by doctors and given free medicines.
Farm mechanisation, crop diversification, use of agricultural input etc. measures were taken to intensify farming practice and improve agricultural production. Training programmes and exposure visits on soil improvement, System of Rice Intensification (SRI), Maize cultivation, fruit & vegetable cultivation, preparation of vermi-compost, were organised for the farmers. The extension outreach was facilitated by the officials of Agriculture and Horticulture departments. With project support, tractor, tipping trailer, M.B. plough, leveler, pump-sets, rice hauler machine and other agricultural equipments as well as paddy seeds, fertilisers and pesticides were provided to the farmers.
98 Acres, about 25% of the cultivable land, was ploughed with help of tractor during the Kharif season of 2010. This tractor managed by Village Cluster Committee (VCC) even earned a profit. Further 120 quintals of fertilisers, about half of which was organic, were distributed to 196 farmers by VCC. Farm intensification and mechanisation led to harvesting of about 990 quintals of maize. This change has become an eye-opener for the villagers demonstrating impact of crop diversification on increased agricultural income. The tipping trailer came in handy during transportation of the harvest to their