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Gram Vikas nominated for the Local Adaptation Champions Awards at United Nations COP27

NEWS

By GV News Desk

15 September 2022

The Local Adaptation Champions Awards by the Global Centre on Adaptation selected Gram Vikas as one of the 20 nominees from across the world for pioneering locally-led climate resilience. The award spotlights and rewards inspiring, innovative, scalable efforts to address climate change impacts. Inclusive leadership, Financial Governance, Capacity and Knowledge, and Local innovation are the award categories.

A prestigious jury of Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Professor Patrick Verkooijen, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Center on Adaptation; Saima Wazed Putul, Thematic Ambassador for Vulnerability of The Climate Vulnerable Forum; Sheela Patel, Director of the Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres; and Ban Ki-moon, Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation and 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations selected the nominees.

Gram Vikas is one of the five nominees in the Capacity and Knowledge category, recognising interventions that strengthen local knowledge and skills. The Jury considered Gram Vikas’ work in strengthening the agency and capabilities of historically disadvantaged, forest-dependent, Adivasi communities to fight climate change through simultaneous and interrelated forestry, agriculture, and land occupancy and use efforts. So far, the intervention has trained 7600+ community members, 2300 youth and 2150 SHGs.

The communities learn to monitor springs, develop degraded land, undertake social and agroforestry plantations, conserve soil and moisture, and intercrop to rejuvenate land and water sources.

A cadre of local youth, the Spring Stewardship Fellows or Jala Bandhus, trained in hydrogeology, accounting, and technologies such as Google Earth Pro and Vertical Electric Sounding tests, becomes a knowledge resource pool for the communities to take up activities, even in the future. Over the past three years, they have monitored 4,496 water sources, including 518 Springs, pre and post-monsoon, across 27 Gram Panchayats in Odisha. Partner village communities and Gram Vikas used this data to prepare the five-year (2020-2025) Village Groundwater Management Plan.

The solution harnesses indigenous knowledge, vitalises inter-generational action, and promotes entrepreneurship while conserving land. The efforts have improved water availability across 145 acres of degraded land, increased green cover across 100 acres, led to a 15% increase in the discharge of groundwater sources and enabled 131,000 tons of CO2 sequestration through afforestation.

The intervention will directly reach 1,70,000+ people.

The winners will be announced at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) from 6 to 18 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

A community member actively participating in the plantation work in Kalahandi district.

Photograph by Ajaya Kumar Behera

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