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Climate Change Mitigation Through Chhattisgarh Tribal Development Programme

It is known fact that Climate Change will affect the most, who are poor and already facing various challenges to meet their livelihood. Poor and indigenous communities living in remote areas do not have access to regular flow of basic amenities for their survival which could make them more vulnerable to climate change impacts. Keeping this in consideration Chhattisgarh Tribal Development Programme (CTDP) in association with International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD) has launched unique poverty alleviation and livelihood generation activities in three districts (Sarguja, Raigarh and Jashpur) of Chhattisgarh. These activities will not only meet local livelihood needs but also ensure social, ecological and climate integrity.

Biogas CDM Project Activity:

Firewood is the primary source of rural energy for cooking in development country like India. Although easily available , there is a huge cost which everyone pays for this source of energy. Firewood is generally collected from local natural forests. Continuous and unregulated procurement of non renewable biomass create pressure on already stressed natural forests. This also results in conflict between tribal people and forest officials over maintaining balance between exploitation and conservation of natural resources.

There are other issues associated with firewood dependent cooking activities. The collection of firewood mainly carried out by women of households. They generally cover large distance from their house to gather firewood from local forests. It is estimated that women spent 2 hours/day/household on gathering biomass (firewood, dung and crop residues). They lost their quality time in firewood collection. The burning of firewood release smoke, methane, carbon monoxide which contributes to global warming and also make indoor environment unhealthy to live.

CTDP has intervened to address the inherent issues associated with firewood by introducing biogas technology to the rural and tribal households. The project will install anaerobic digester plants for production of biogas. These digesters will be fed with wastes like dung to produce gas through the process of fermentation. The biogas produced will be combusted for cooking purpose. This is a clean technology which does not liberate any smoke but utilizes waste materials and reduces dependency on problematic firewood. It is estimated that 830 no of 2 m3 biogas system would be installed in the tribal households and it will avoid the emission of 2, 176 tons to Carbon Dioxide every year. Nearly Nine Lakh Rupees per annum will be collected from the sale of carbon credits for a fixed crediting period of ten years.

Vermi-Compsoting CDM Project Activity:

Dung obtained from livestock can have another use apart from biogas production. The dung can be used to produce low cost bio fertilizer. The animal waste can be treated with aeration by earth worms in large pits. The earth worms convert animal wastes into decomposed matters which are actually good quality fertilizer for agriculture purpose. The process which is known as vermi-composting is climate friendly in two ways. The animal waste will not be treated with conventional system, which is, putting dung in water to produce manure which further liberates methane. Methane is a potent Global warming causing gas. Therefore emission of methane is avoided by vermi-composting technology. The bio fertilizer so produced can be applied to crops to ensure productivity and reduce dependency on costly inorganic fertilizers. Inorganic fertilizers on application release Nitrous Oxide (N2O), which is again a powerful GHG gas – responsible for climate change. On the other hand, it also promotes organic farming which has been touted as an effective way for mitigating climate change in agriculture sector. CTDP has mobilized rural and tribal communities to adopt this low cost and climate friendly technology. With little initial investment the technology requires very low maintenance.

The project will reduce 15, 000 tons of GHG emission as per the estimation. The emission reduction can be sold as credit in international carbon market. Therefore, CTDP has signed Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) with one of the major carbon credit buyers of Europe. Nearly Fifty Eight Lakh Rupees per annum will be collected from the sale of carbon credits for a fixed crediting period of ten years.

Afforestation / Reforestation CDM Project Activity:

Quality of life depends on the quality of environment. If environment degrades, the quality of life also suffers. The project areas selected by CTDP were under land degradation due to natural and anthropogenic reasons. The lands were under constant soil erosion by wind and water. The lands were also under heavy pressure of grazing. Due to poor water holding capacity of lands, the level of water table of ground water was also low. Low availability of ground water can reduce crop production and can even lead to drought like situation. To address this, CTDP followed watershed centric rehabilitation of degraded lands by various soil and moisture measures. Mechanical measures like contour trench, naala bund, construction of check dams etc. were carried out. Rampant grazing was also controlled and stall feeding was promoted. Tree plantation is integral part of any soil and moisture conservation measures. CTDP has planted around 103 ha of lands with tree species and is planning to add another 100 ha under tree plantation. The species selected are mix of native and exotic species. The trees will sequester carbon dioxide-which is a major Green House Gas (GHG) and store it for longer period of time. The carbon can also be stored in soil, deadwood and litter present in plantation forests. The trees will make the local atmosphere cool and will make condition favorable for rainfall.

Nearly 2000 tons of carbon dioxide would be sequestered each year from the plantation project. Apart from carbon sequestration, the trees will hold the soil intact and prevent it from any kind of erosion. Nearly Three Lakh Rupees per annum will be collected from the sale of carbon credits for a renewable crediting period of twenty years.

Conclusion:

All these initiatives have been possible with effective participation from local communities which CTDP believed important pillar for success of any development initiative. Women were especially encouraged to take part in decision making for various activities.

But on a bigger picture, this grass root level initiative has contributed to the mitigation of climate change – which is a global problem. Every activity promoted by CTDP will reduce emission of Green House Gases along with securing livelihoods of local communities. Apart from mitigation of climate change, these activities will enhance their quality and standard of living. Therefore they will have better capacity to adapt and cope with any climate change related impacts. In other words, CTDP’s projects have climate change adaptation benefits apart from contribution to climate change mitigation.

 

Copyright 2002 Chhattisgarh Tribal Development Programme