In western Rajasthan the common pastures resources are very important for sustaining rural livelihoods, with livestock being the most resilient component in such ecosystems. However, the common pastures in this region have become severely degraded making the rural poor households more vulnerable to climate and market risks.
As part of CGIAR research program on Dryland Systems which is a research for development project, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and GRAVIS have analyzed the causes leading to the degradation of common pastures and the factors hindering rehabilitation efforts and their sustainability in arid western Rajasthan. We are implementing improved management options for sustainable intensification of common Silvi-pasture systems in a participatory mode in Govindpura (Jodhpur), Dhok (Barmer) and Damodara (Jaisalmer) in 30 ha common land by involving the village development committees and the livestock keepers. Our strategy for sustainable management of CPRs focuses on economically viable model targeting equitable governance structure, NRM and productivity enhancing innovations in all three locations.
The community was involved right from the design stage of the project. A committee representing all sections of the community manages the silvi-pasture system and a women sub-committee is responsible for managing the harvest from the CPRs. The selection of promising grasses and multipurpose trees for these CPRs was done through a participatory process using Mozer framework matrix. Along with promising grasses (for example Dhaman and Sewan), we have planted more than 7000 multipurpose trees (including arid fruit and agro-forestry trees) in these community based silvi-pasture systems. Moreover need-based soil and water conservation interventions have also been undertaken in these CPRs. The community has fully owned these efforts and that helps in upscaling these interventions.