Food and Land Resources: Incorporating Watershed-Based Approaches for Better Sustainability-Productivity Balance
The overall purpose of watershed programmes is to enhance incomes, provide food security through sustainable agriculture and prudent management of natural resources. This directly corresponds to SDG 1 and 2, i.e. No poverty and Zero Hunger respectively.
India's integrated watershed approach and guidelines are very comprehensive and have yielded tangible results when implemented in the true spirit. There are several other programmes and schemes that also aim at natural resource management, water resource conservation, livelihood enhancement, and afforestation and biodiversity conservation amongst other things. There is scope for convergence of these schemes along with watershed programmes.
This paper outlines the evolution of watershed approach and the current national and some state-level policies for watershed management. It explains the way in which watershed management contributes to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and how other schemes could be dovetailed with watershed approach to thus enable better results. The paper also talks about cross-cutting issues such as gender and social equity in watershed management that are pertinent to address SDGs.