Natural resource management in changing climate – reflections from indigenous Jharkhand, Dr. Nafisa Sanga and Rajeev Ranjan
Purpose: Addressing probable complexities of climate change on rural livelihoods, food security, and poverty reduction, requires mainstreaming of cross-sectoral interventions and adaptations into existing frameworks. Indigenous communities due to their isolation, reluctance to current practices, and knowledge deprivation are difficult to reach by many developmental programs. The purpose of this paper is to identify relevant adaptations from indigenous rural Jharkhand (India), applicable to improving livelihoods through integrated natural resource management (NRM). Prospects of rainwater harvest and management for supporting local rural livelihoods were also examined.
Design/methodology/approach: Tested and applicable models of participatory research methods widespread in sociological research were used. Focussed group discussions and structured interviews were conducted for primary data collection from micro-watershed units of this study.
Findings: In-situ soil and water conservation methods showed increased availabilities of freshwater both for food and non-food consumption in the area. Construction of rural infrastructure and land husbandry practices improved agricultural productivity and resulted in subsequent reductions in women's drudgeries. Culture fishery provided ample scope for livelihood diversification, food and nutrition security of households. Overall, micro-watershed area developmental approach improved food and nutrition securities, generated employment opportunities, improved agricultural productivity, diversified livelihoods and were widely accepted by communities.
Originality/value: Creating greater sense of ownership among grass-root communities was an important thrust behind the success of this particular project. By entrusting tribal communities with fund management, rural planning, and execution of various interventions, a successful replicable model was produced, which has wider community implications extending beyond societies and geographies.
Keywords: Resource management; Adaptive measures; Climatic threats; Jharkhand; Livelihood diversification; Tribal development.
Citation: Priti Sanga, N. and Kumar Ranjan, R. (2014), "Natural resource management in changing climate – reflections from indigenous Jharkhand", World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 117-133. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJSTSD-10-2013-0040