The long term goal of the Community-Based Rainfed Watershed Management project is to bring the practice of integrated watershed management to the community, using participatory and systems approach for sustainable benefits.

Integrated watershed management

The project embraces the concepts, principles, and practices of integrated watershed management (IWM) – a framework that integrates natural resource management with community livelihoods in a sustainable way and addresses the whole agricultural production system.

The project operates on the premise that rural communities depend on a variety of livelihood strategies to meet their basic needs. These include growing crops, raising livestock, and a pursuit of alternative income generating opportunities. Adopting a holistic approach (as detailed in the Figure below) allows the project to appreciate the complexity of the challenges and seek solutions through multiple interventions. The approach in combination with watershed level assessment and modelling of natural resources provides a comprehensive environment to undertake Research for Development (R4D) activities. The aim is to improve the resilience and lessening the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to a wide range of challenges, particularly climate change.

A holistic approach for mitigation of land degradation and adaptation to climate change

Participatory approach

Working in full participation with stakeholders speeds up broader adoption of technologies. A participatory approach focuses on problem solving by actively involving communities in analyzing and tackling biophysical, socio-economic, policy, and institutional issues.  Such an approach is demand-driven, and dependent on the stakeholders in the community.

Agricultural systems approach

The agricultural systems approach combines appropriate technologies and practices for land and water management, crop and livestock production, forestry and value chain aspects. This approach simultaneously targets current and future productivity, poverty reduction, and protection of the environment. Interdisciplinary project teams work in close partnership with local communities towards sustainable management of land, water, crops, and livestock.