Systems approach

Mapping the biophysical characteristics of the watershed was an important part of the first phase of the project. Based on this information, it was clear that soil, water, vegetation cover, and land management must be improved by adopting a systems approach in order to restore the watershed ecosystem.

Reducing deforestation

The land use study in the first phase of the project showed that deforestation in the watershed is alarming. Initial measures to arrest deforestation involved selecting tree species adapted to degraded land and evaluating the socio-economic feasibility of mobile tree nurseries.

Additionally, the introduction of efficient stoves that burn less fuelwasalso selected as a strategy to slow deforestation by lessening demand on biomass energy from diminishing forests.

This component of the project strategy was implemented by designing context-specific gender-based interventions. These are described in the GENDER section.

Managing soil and water

Managing soil and water effectively is vital for restoring ecosystems, reducing soil erosion, and conserving natural resources. Soil and stone bunds, terraces, trenches, and gabions, are examples of soil and water conservation structures that reduce runoff. Rainwater harvesting is effective in managing flood and drought risks. This component of the project strategy is described in the SOIL AND WATER and WATERSHED MODELING sections.

Enhancing livelihoods

Enhancing livelihoods by introducing improved farming practices, crop varieties, and improved husbandry, was a major goal of the project. Several research and demonstration trials were implemented to develop improved options for the small farmers of the watershed. This component of the project strategy is described in the CROPS and LIVESTOCK sections.