Farmers' fight to restore ecosystems

by Blandine Barthod | 27 April 2021

Image Farmers' fight to restore ecosystems

With human forcing of the climate system, storms and droughts are becoming more severe and prolonged in many regions across the globe (UNFCC, 2014).

In Nepal, increasingly intense monsoon rainfall and longer dry periods are predicted. Marginalised communities in the Himalayan Mid-hills are already experiencing the adverse impact of these increasingly erratic weather patterns.

Yet we can still act for the common good of these communities and the ecosystems that support them. By working with villagers in the Mid-hills, IRHA and our local partner Kanchan Nepal are helping to restore ecosystems. Together, we are planting rain to reduce the adverse effects that droughts and intense rainfalls have on people and their lands.

In the rural areas surrounding the city of Pokhara, farmers are participating in our "rain communities" project. They are working together to manage how rainwater flows through their local ecosystems.

They are restoring traditional pokharis (ponds) to improve the retention of rainwater within their communal lands. Drawing on local knowledge in this way, a new generation are discovering how their ancestral ponds can provide an abundant water resource for irrigating farmers' crops.

With the worsening health situation in Nepal this May, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, these crops represent a life line. With food imports from India are compromised, and an urban diaspora returned to their native villages, there is increasing pressure on local farmers to meet the dietary requirements of growing village communities.

These farmers are busy! They are cultivating their fields, enriching the organic matter and nutrient content of their soils using composts and other agro-ecology techniques. They are also preventing the erosion of this valuable resource, by taking part in reforestation campaigns. These initiatives also reduce direct solar radiation, which leaves soils dry, cracked an infertile.They have also built polyhouses to diversify the species they grow, focusing on more resilient varieties of crops with high economic potential.

IRHA are proud to assist these farmers respond to the challenge of restoring ecosystems. Please, help us to create microclimates of resilience.


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