Sahyadri ENews: LXIX

Issues: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68

Eco-hydrological footprint highlights the interaction among water resources, and humans with the environment. In order to achieve sustainability in the water basins the water resource should be managed to cater both natural and human environment without hampering the natural resources. The environmental demand involves maintaining ecological flows and forest water requirements (such as transpiration, etc.), human (including domestic, industrial, agriculture) demands. Conservation of the natural ecosystems would ensure sustenance of natural resources and contributes significantly to the region’s economy. A well maintained natural ecosystems has better water retention capability through subsurface flows, soil water storage, evapotranspiration etc. giving an edge over degraded catchments. The first article, in this issue focusses on eco-hydrological footprint of a Sharavathi river basin in the Western Ghats through assessment of hydrologic regime along with the demand of the biotic components. Insights of eco-hydrological footprint assessment will aid in the land use management with the improved water use efficiency, appropriate cropping pattern, restrictions on irrational land use changes towards the sustainable development of the river catchment.

Ecological fragile zones are the ecological units with the exceptional biotic and abiotic elements where mismanagement of these zones will result in imbalance in the ecosystem. The second article, illustrates the identification of ecological fragile zones has been done by considering both ecological and social dimensions spatially. The focus on ecological security, in addition to sustainable human development projects, has raised concerns for preservation of food sources and ecosystems in recent time.The identification of ecological fragile regions approach is providing a new perspective for the assessment of environmental resources, sustainable development. This framework focuses on various aspects of the region such as environmental quality, develop a sound and appealing evidence base, emphasizing inclusive public involvement in planning, evaluating wide range of alternatives. The mapping of ecological fragile zones will lend guidance to responsible agencies to ensure a balance between ecological preservation and development. Geo-visualisation of hotspots of biodiversity at local level and prioritisation of ecological fragile regions helps in evolving appropriate conservation strategies for the implementation of sustainable developmental through the involvement of local stakeholders. The prioritisation and strategies framed will help in prudent use of natural resources, while realizing the vision of Biodiversity act, 2002, towards empowering Biodiversity Management Committees at village level. The next article on the novel approach by the Ralley for Rivers proposing an economic model for sustainable agriculture with beneficial ecological consequences for rivers. It is proposed to take `village-as-watershed’ as a unit of implementation and a target stretch of at least 60 to 100 km as a pilot initiative in each state which can then be scaled up to enhance vegetative cover in both public and private riparian lands across the respective states. Farmland interventions can multiply farmer incomes at least 3 to 5 times and community forestry can provide income from sustainable harvesting of NTFPs. We aim to reduce agricultural water-use through agro-horti-forestry and micro-irrigation. A robust institution and strong economic incentive are achieved via Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) which process the produce and create sustained market linkages. Scaling up requires policy changes, government budgetary support and people’s participation.



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