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Title of best practice:
Gram Bharati Samiti
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Please provide relevant information on the holder of the rights:
GBS implemented a project wasteland development in district Jaipur in the Rajasthan state of India. The activities carried out under the project included soil and moisture conservation, plugging the gullies and ravines, harvesting the rain water, planting trees, stabilizing sand dunes, regenerating the indigenous plant species etc. in collaboration with the women members of SHG and youth volunteers of the area. The problems of fuel, fodder and potable water of 2,000 poor people of backward castes of neighboring 10 villages were solved through the project. The UNDP recognized the project as one of the success stories of wastelands development. |
Prevailing land use in the specified location
- Uproductive land
Barren, infertile, gullied sandy wasteland
Contribution to Desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) measures
Contribution to the strategic objectives
- To improve the living conditions of affected populations
- To improve the conditions of affected ecosystems
Linkages with the other best practice themes
- Capacity-building and awareness-raising
- DLDD and SLM monitoring and assessment/research
- Knowledge management and decision support
- Participation, collaboration and networking
Section 1. Context of the best practice: frame conditions (natural and human environment)
Short description of the best practice
GBS in consultation of the local village communities conceptualised a plan of project for developing the wasteland near village Todaladi (later named as Gandhivan) in order to address the key problems of the people. The community people were agreed upon the proposal and assured of all kinds of their support for successfull implementation of the project. Then a Project Implementation and Monitoring Committee (PIMC)was formed involving all the key stakeholders, particularly the women and youth volunteers. The activities carried out under the project included soil and moisture conservation, plugging the gullies and ravines, harvesting the rain water, planting trees, stabilizing sand dunes, regenerating the indigenous plant species etc.|
Gandhivan in district Jaipour in the Rajasthan state of India
If the location has well defined boundaries, specify its extension in hectares:
Estimated population living in the location:
Brief description of the natural environment within the specified location.
There were sand dunes only in the far away areas and not a single green leaf could be seen around. The project land was completely undulated with sand dunes, ravines and deep gullies. There was no vegetation cover over the neighboring hills.|
The area is on the foothills of the Aravalli ranges where there had been a thick forest a few decades ago, which has been completely denuded during last couple of decades in want of fuel wood and the hills have completely been deforested.|
Partly sandy and partly loamy
Prevailing socio-economic conditions of those living in the location and/or nearby
Most of the people have very small land hordings and many are landless labourer. Though they have ownership over these small pieces of land, but sinse they don't have any source of irrigation, they can't get good crops and only depend on the monsoon, which is very uncertain and scattered in the area.|
The resourceless poor people of backward castes and classes are residing in the neighboring villages, who solely depend on the forests for fuel wood to coock food and no other alternative is availlable. |
As most of the community people are marginal farmers or land less labourers, their main source of income is cattle rearing and working on the frams of big farmers. Therefore, many of them migrate to big cities in search of jobs when there is no farming season.|
On the basis of which criteria and/or indicator(s) (not related to The Strategy) the proposed practice and corresponding technology has been considered as 'best'?
As the project mentiioned here solved successfully the problem of fuel, fodder and potable water of the people of the neighboring 10 villages through developing the 'wasteland', which was generally known as barren, infertile and quite useless. Further, it strengthened the biodiversity of the area by conserving the flora and fauna and changed the ecological scenerio. The 'waste' land of a time has been transformed into the 'best'land of today with a thick forest of over one hudred thousand plants of various species.|
Section 2. Problems addressed (direct and indirect causes) and objectives of the best practice
Outline specific land degradation problems addressed by the best practice
As the rain water flowing from the neighboring hills was eroding the soil of the flanking area, GBS built 2 check dams to harvest it and plugged over 30 deep gullies by erecting bunds and mulching them with grasses and bushes. It not only checked the soil erosion and land degradation, but conserved sufficient water and moisture, which helped in nurturing more and more trees as garner of good quality fodder and enough fuel wood for the community people.|
Specify the objectives of the best practice
The main objective of said best practice was to solve the problem of fuel, fodder and potable water of the poor people of backward catses and classes of 10 villages of the area.|
Section 3. Activities
Brief description of main activities, by objective
Plugged 30 deep gullies with erecting bunds and mulching them with grasses and bushes etc. to check the soil erosion and land degradation.
Stabilized 26 sand dunes through plnting trees on furrows, contours, bench terraces etc.|
Plated 80,000 trees of various spoecies in consultation with the local community people|
Hravested the rain water by building 2 check dams on the foot hills to conserve the water flowing from te hills.
Short description and technical specifications of the technology
It was decided under the best practioce of the project that no chemical fertilizers and pesticides will be used and it was follwed throughout the implementation of the project. Rather organic manure and herbal pesticides were used. The species of the plants were selected on the basis of their adaptabilities. The tools and implements were used locally made and availlable. The techniques for raising saplings in the nursery, planting trees, building check dams, plugging gullies and satbilizing sand dunes etc. were planned and used in consultation with the community leaders which were based on the indigenous technology and past practices of the villages|
Locally availlable bulding materials i.e. stones, plant species i.e. grasses and bushes, locally availlable tools and equipments etc. were used in the project. |
Section 4. Institutions/actors involved (collaboration, participation, role of stakeholders)
Name and address of the institution developing the technology
Gram Bharati Samiti (GBS)|Amber Bhawan, Amber
Jaipur 302 028
Was the technology developed in partnership?
Specify the framework within which the technology was promoted
- Programme/project-based initiative
Was the participation of local stakeholders, including CSOs, fostered in the development of the technology?
List local stakeholders involved:
Local NGOs, community leaders, women members of SHG and youth volunteers|
For the stakeholders listed above, specify their role in the design, introduction, use and maintenance of the technology, if any.
The stakeholders discussed the design, use, repair and maintenance of the technology in the monthly meetings of the PIMC and solve the problem while testing in the field|
Was the population living in the location and/or nearby involved in the development of the technology?
By means of what?
- Participatory approaches
Section 5. Contribution to impact
Describe on-site impacts (the major two impacts by category)
The area of barren sand dunes of a time has been transformed into a thick forest today, biodiversity strengthened and flora and fauna conserved.|
Production of the check dams, tree species planted, gullies plugged and sand dunes stbilized was more than expected benefits|
Over 2,000 households of villages of the area need not to spend money and labour on buying fuel and fodder. |
The over all ecology of the area has been enriched
Rain water harvested and soil erosion and land degradation checked has brought out tremendous results.
The money being spent in fetching water from far away wells for their cattle could be saved.
Describe the major two off-site (i.e. not occurring in the location but in the surrounding areas) impacts
The practice of cattle rearing has increased, which was stopped during last couple of years|
Migration of the youth of the area has been checked.
Impact on biodiversity and climate change
Explain the reasons:
The level of underground water has increased by 2 to 5 meters in the area and carbon emmission has decreased extensively (though it has yet to be measured).
The project has increased in the generation of the wild animals and birds and number of plant species of medicinal and other values. The extensive vegetation cover over the sand dunes and flanking area has changed the scenerio.
More and more community people in the rural areas have been inspired to plant trees and harvest the rain water.
Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?
Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?
Cost to be incurred on fuel and fodder of the village communities could be saved widely
Section 6. Adoption and replicability
Can you identify the three main conditions that led to the success of the presented best practice/technology?
It can be replicated any where else with some changes due to the land and weather conditions etc.
It motivated the local farmers and volunteers to adopt the activities of the project into their own fields, particularly the tree plantation, practice of gully plugging for checking soil erosion and land degradation.|
The federal and state Government and many private institutions in India and other countries including a delegation of SAARC countries, that visited the best practice, have appreciated the project and conferred GBS with many awards. |
In your opinion, the best practice/technology you have proposed can be replicated, although with some level of adaptation, elsewhere?
At which level?
Section 7. Lessons learned
Related to human resources
The women members of SHG and youth volunteers have got adequate training to implement the project activities
Related to financial aspects
The cost of fuel and fodder can be saved to a good extent through these activities
Related to technical aspects
It has proved that 'Small is always beautiful'. Indigenous technology is really cost effective and useful.