Enhancing Community Livelihoods as co-benefits of Biodiversity Conservation
RSPN in collaboration with the District Agriculture and Livestock Sectors has kick-started the implementation of the Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) and Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) mitigation interventions.
The team from RSPN completed the consultative meetings with the Local Government leaders and the identified communities and provided orientation on the HWC Management group By-laws, crop compensation schemes, and CSA interventions to the identified villages within White-bellied Heron (WBH) landscapes of six districts (Dagana, Punakha, Trongsa, Tsirang, Wangdue Phodrang, and Zhemgang).
Additionally, improved winter vegetables seeds were also distributed to 12 identified villages under Dagana, Punakha, Tsirang, and Wangdue Phodrang districts (Tsirang – Toisang, Balwani, and Sunkosh villages, Dagana- Samarchu and Norbuling villages, Wangduephodrang- Zawa, Jarogang, Jalla, Ulla and Nyshigaykha villages, and Tshachuphu and Zawa villages under Punakha district). Poly houses, improved crop seeds, horticultural saplings, and high-value timber saplings will also be provided.
This support for enhancing community livelihood is one of the approaches to balance the co-existences of WBH and local communities and is expected to empower the communities and increase their ownership towards the conservation initiatives of WBH and its habitat. Besides enhancing biodiversity, climate-smart agriculture will make farmers more resilient and adaptive to climate change.
10 agro-ecological farms, 7 HWC Management groups, and Five Community seed banks will be established through the project. By 2025 about 1000 households will be introduced to climate-smart agriculture options including organic farming.
The activity is part of the ongoing project funded by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Germany through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and co-funded by MAVA foundation, Switzerland, and RSPN.