CLIMATE CHANGE, FOOD SECURIRY AND POVERTY REDUCTION IN RAJASTHAN, INDIA Rajendra Singh Tarun Bharat Sangh’s Experiences Location of Arvari River A Location Map of Arvari River Basin The Situation in 1985 1985 Degraded and barren land in the catchment areas of Arvari river & extended drought had forced people to migrate out of their villages. WATER harvesting structures taking shape Johads and dams are usually built on small tributaries uphill and they directly benefit the forests on the hill. BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER Success of the first Johad inspired people to take up the building of more such structures – the connection between water and forests was made and this also led to the revival of traditional rules. In the past, forest ownership had been taken over by the Forest Department, leading to alienation of the people and loss of traditions of conservation – making it difficult to bring people together again. Village councils were constituted with the specific purpose of rejuvenating Arvari river and protection of forests, using historical and traditional practices. Women were mobilized to actively participate in such efforts. Their self confidence and several initiatives helped in reaching consensus when decisions on major issues were needed. COMPLETED STRUCTURES ON ARVARI BASIN River Goes Dry: River is flowing: Excess withdrawal of Groundwater - Increased groundwater Recharge - Less Groundwater Extraction Due to increased recharge & controlled discharge river “ARVARI” is now Perennial. The Magic of Arvari River over 12 years The river had disappeared in 1940s, and was revived in 1997 through the efforts of Tarun Bharat Sangh Arvari, a small river in Rajasthan state of India after rejuvenation Years of drought had caused it to become a monsoon drain. BENFITS: Water is made available to cattle and wildlife More harvests per season Reduced migration Social issues of women and education get more attention Increased awareness about the use of forest resource Only dry and dead wood is allowed to be collected. No person goes into the forest with an axe. 1985: Very few people are motivated enough to work together in common interest. 1997: It is difficult to keep people away from working for the common cause. THE ARVARI PARLIAMENT 72 villages situated along Arvari river are represented. Rules are framed about issues of water conservation and utilization, and forest conservation.