The second instalment of ECOBARI’s acclaimed ‘Southbound Resilience Webinar’ series spotlighted the synergy of community-led governance and advanced digital tools. Among the distinguished speakers were Dr. Neha Bhadbhade from SOPPECOM, Dr. Sonali Shinde from Gram Gaurav Pratishthan, with Dr. Eshwer Kale of WOTR (Watershed Organisation Trust) moderating the discussion. Kickstarting the webinar, ECOBARI’s national anchor, Arjuna Srinidhi, emphasised, “Our platform is a beacon for Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) knowledge, resources, and best practices. These webinars offer an invaluable stage for professionals in the realm of EbA to exchange insights and strategies, enhancing climate resilience for communities at risk.”
- The Pani Panchayat model pioneered by Gram Gaurav Pratishthan stands out as a beacon for community-driven governance of essential natural resources. Given the grim backdrop of escalating water scarcity, adopting such localised, inclusive governance is paramount.
- Advanced digital tools, encompassing AI, RS-GIS, Drone Surveys, CLART, and GMT, play a pivotal role in steering sustainable water governance. Collaborating closely with farmers, these tools offer invaluable insights into groundwater levels, soil metrics, and much more.
- Holistic water management necessitates the collective effort of all stakeholders. It’s about striking a balance between conservation, suitable crop selection, efficient water use, and resource supply.
- Dr. Sonali Shinde underscored the pressing need for more green jobs and personnel trained in watershed development at the grassroots level, pointing to the current dearth in staffing even among government officials.
- On the topic of data security, Dr. Neha Bhadbhade clarified, “All data is community owned. Collection mechanisms are straightforward and secure, safeguarded within the community.”
EbA is a multi-faceted approach involving Adaptive Capacities, Ecosystem Services, and Participatory Governance. Success stories like Pani Panchayat can inspire a sustainable path forward in the face of climate change. ECOBARI’s webinars strive to gather and disseminate these lessons for a brighter, resilient future. The ‘Southbound Resilience Webinar’ series is organised in collaboration with WOTR and W-CReS and supported by Honeywell.