K. J. Joy

In a rare show of solidarity, the panchayat leaders of Dzongu have formed a group, Save Dzongu, that cuts across political differences to save their river.

As we sit sipping tea with him, Ugen Lepcha calmly spells out his stand. “Even if it means having to leave my (political) party, I will continue to be against dams,” he says. Ugen Lepcha, the president of Passingang gram panchayat in the Dzongu area of Sikkim, clearly has courage when it comes to his political convictions.

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Watershed development is increasingly seen as the lynchpin of rural development in dryland areas – one that integates sectors and provides the foundation for subsequent development.

This report by FoRWARD deals with the reorientation of the watershed development programme in India. The government is apparently committing larger resources for watershed development and plans to bring most of the dryland, degraded lands under the coverage of the programme over the next 25 years or so.

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The present review hopes to contribute to the process of ensuring that the experiences from the first generation of watershed development are fully understood and internalized

The normative framework underlying the review “Understanding watershed development” requires a “normative framework” embracing the notions of “watershed” and “watershed development’, and how they are translated into practice. Such translation may also be based upon additional assumption about what is possible and desirable, and how to bring these changes about.

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The focus of the report is on situating the watershed programme in context of larger developmental objective of sustainable and equitable livelihoods in rainfed areas

The report on “Watershed Development in Maharashtra” by Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM) ), on behalf of the Forum for Watershed Research and Policy Dialogue (ForWaRD), deals with the present scenario and issues for restructuring the programme. The concept of integrated and participatory watershed development and management has emerged as the cornerstone of rural development in the dry and semi-arid regions of India. Over the years the country has been making increasing investments in this area with the objective of enhancing the production potential of rainfed agriculture.

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