Inclusive, sustainable waste management in Delhi

Description of the project
The inhabitants and entreprises of Delhi are generating excessive waste and civic authorities have no systematic sustainable waste management in place. A survey conducted in BudhVihar, a colony located in southwest Delhi, reflected that the locality has improper waste & drainage system, water logging, health issues and each household on an average generates around 1 kg of kitchen waste everyday. To address this challenge, AIWC is training women from the locality in waste separation and home based compost system. They produce manure in a cycle of 45 days with ‘Khamba”, with a set of 3 earthen pots kept on top of each other. Layer of waste and cocopeat is filled in the pots on rotation and after decay, the waste turns into organic manure.

Climate impact
Dumping of waste in landfill or burning it releases carbon dioxide and pollutes the environment. According to the Press Information Bureau, India generates 62 million tonnes of mixed waste containing both recyclable and non-recyclable every year, with an average annual growth rate of 4% (PIB 2016). This project aims to mitigate GHG emission at micro level, sensitize the targeted household and support a sustainable waste management system at source.

Gender impact
The women from the Delhi suburb community were informed on various issues relating to waste, including health hazards. They were also trained to package and sell the manure to other households and local markets, either as manure or with sapling planted in a small pot. The project raises women’s technical skills and knowledge, and their capacities in generating income activities, as well as implementing preventive health measures.

Scalability
The project is cost effective and replicable at household level, as well as in other similar communities. It can also be scaled up to a community based waste management system, using the business model of compost pits and lead to a proper waste management system within the area.

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Women farmers transforming livelihoods in the drought-prone Marathwada region of India

Description of the project
The project promotes the recognition of 60 000 rural women as farmers and decision makers, with improved participation in agriculture and within households. It builds resilience in small, marginalised farming households through capacity building in resilient farming practices. Women’s agency is enhanced through land tenure rights, leadership development workshops and participatory governance. The beneficiaries take decisions and shift from cash crops to diversified mixed food crops and vegetables. They can give up chemical inputs for bio-inputs, use local seeds, follow water and soil conservation methods, and diversify food sources, to enhance nutrition and income security.

Climate impact
In the last three years, 60,000 women from small and marginalised farmer households have
shifted from water-guzzling cash crops such as soya, sugarcane and cotton, to cultivating
and consuming local food crops through the year. Instead of monocultures, they grow 7 to 8 crops and plant fruit trees. The initiative has reduced input costs by 25%; the savings makes farming economically viable. The conversion of 50,000 acres of dry land into bio-farms through water and soil conservation practices is leading to improved biodiversity.

Gender impact
Change expected from this initiative is women’s leadership, enhanced with technical knowledge and skills, in new social identities as climate champions and decision makers in farms, families and communities. At the heart of this approach is women’s complete autonomy around what to grow, what to consume and how much to sell. From the identity as farm workers, women have gained new economic and social statute as entrepreneurs, grassroots advocates and climate leaders.

Scalability
Locally-owned action by women’s groups led to design this holistic and integrated model to address the intersectional challenges of climate change, land degradation, food, water and livelihood insecurity. The project strengthens the leadership of women grassroots advocates to forge partnerships with government, agricultural universities and training institutions. As per a directive of the Government of India, 30% of State funds for agriculture must be allocated to women farmers. This can aid replication and upscaling.

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Spotless Dame – combating menstrual hygienic poverty while reducing plastic waste

Description of the project: This project addresses the interconnected challenges of plastic waste, extreme poverty, unhygienic practices during menstruation, and sustainable livelihoods. It enables adolescent girls and community women to lead healthy lives by breaking myths and taboos surrounding menstruation and creating awareness about healthy practices. More than 6,500 Mera Pads -reusable cloth pads made from bamboo- have been distributed. Their production and sales have created new jobs for 25 women, improving the livelihoods of their families. Over 7,500 women and girls have been trained in menstrual hygiene through 92 Workshops in 30 villages across 8 districts of Rajasthan. Awareness raising programs were also organised for boys and men to break the cycle of menstrual discrimination.

Climate impact: Disposable sanitary pads result in the unsustainable discharge of millions of tonnes of plastic waste all over the world, which are nearly non biodegradable. One woman using disposable pads and tampons for menstrual hygiene will generate around 150 kg of plastic waste during her entire life, with an estimated carbon footprint of 900 kg CO2. This project has thus far supported 1,626 women with 6,504 reusable cloth pads, saving 31,219 kg of plastic waste and substantially reducing carbon emissions.

Gender impact: Access to safe menstrual hygiene can be a matter of life and death. Patriarchal discrimination of menstruating women still prevails in India. With affordable, sustainable alternative pads, this project has created jobs, improved the life of 1,626 women and raised the capacity of 7,500 girls and women on menstrual hygiene management. Programs to sensitise boys and men break gender taboos. Pragati Sakhis -environmental ambassadors- are selected to educate and empower women in their communities on environment and health.

Scalability: Started in one village in 2015, Spotless Dame has already been replicated in 30 locations from 8 districts. Pragati Sakhis -environmental ambassadors- endorse the role of multiplicators and ensure up-scaling. The business model based on a sustainable production with local materials and local people is easy to replicate. By 2030, the non-profit organisation aims to provide 1 million women with Mera Pads, creating sustainable jobs for at least 1,000 women.

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Game changing rice culture empowers rural women to ensure food security in South Odisha

Description of the project: Pragati Koraput works with over 8000 ethnic women farmers in Koraput District, India, to ensure climate resilient nutritional food security. Activities include training on water saving System of Rice Intensification (SRI) for rice and millets, organic crop diversification with access to indigenous stress tolerant seeds, farm mechanization, and organized collectives for market access. The project has enhanced women’s position as change agents in the family and community. It has also increased the communities’ understanding of climate impacts on agriculture and the importance of proper conservation and use of resources for climate resilience.

Climate impact: System of Rice Intensification (SRI) creates aerobic soil conditions through shallow and intermittent irrigation, which contributes to better crop yield and food security, drop in production costs, and reduced freshwater consumption (-40%). This remarkable water management system in rice paddies, as well as reduced use of chemical fertilizer have resulted in substantial methane reduction, with significant mitigation and adaptation impact.

Gender impact: Thanks to the training and mentoring activities, confidence and self-esteem have risen in the mind of 8,200 women beneficiaries from 315 villages. The initiative has created space for the women to participate in local, state and national forums. They take leadership roles in communities to discuss and act on climate issues impacting their lives. They motivate peers to adopt innovative technologies for resilient agriculture. Men in the villages acknowledge their significant contribution, which is transforming the gendered power relations.

Scalability: SRI has the potential to involve many more farmers across the region as it is a methodology with proven results. Replicating SRI organic practices can have far-reaching positive impacts on a large scale, such as increase in food production, releasing the financial burden on farmers and promoting a more sustainable economy, with improved nutritional food security. Applying the principles of SRI in other crops and crop diversification will revive biodiversity and protect soil and water quality.

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Seed balls bombing connect urban with rural women to restore biodiversity in Tamil Nadu

Description of the project: The Seed Ball Project, launched by a women’s welfare association in Chennai, India, is a creative nature-based and social approach to stop deforestation. Trained rural women earn an income in producing seed balls out of gathered seeds and organic compost. Then “seed bombing” actions are carried out in 8 districts by 100 urban girls and women, in carefully selected areas with ideal growing conditions, so the seeds can flourish. Pupils join in throwing seed balls near their school and home during awareness campaigns. The broad public responds very positively to the project and helps to nurture the growing plants.

Climate impact: With a good growth rate the bombed seeds can curtail the effects of deforestation, reducing the carbon footprint, improving the water table and preserving biodiversity. The plant and tree seeds and the types of land and soil are carefully chosen to optimize results in different ecosystems. A tree is estimated to absorb about 22 kg of CO2 in one year. With 1500 seed balls dispersed since 2017, the association calculates that up to 33 tons of CO2 could be absorbed in one year by the grown trees. One variety of selected plants, Tulsi, are fully grown and release oxygen for 20 hours per day. They also have medicinal properties.

Gender impact: This pilot project generated sustainable income sources for 10 rural and 50 urban women. In rural areas, women gain skills in manufacturing and selling organic compost, and in urban settlements, women have learned how to produce wide varieties of seed balls, according to season and soil type, as well as to select adapted ecosystems for seed ball bombing. The beneficiaries have access to jobs and have become economic contributors to their families. These socially active and responsible women have inspired many others to reconstruct a livable space in their community.

Scalability: This project is easy to replicate and upscale, since it is based on a very simple technique with local natural materials, and with minimum human intervention for the seed balls to grow. Sanju Women’s Welfare Association has mobilized school institutions and the general public. The project is currently running at state-level in Tamil Nadu and could be extended in other states, with proper planning and mobilization. A team has been established to follow up on the growing seeds, monitor and report on the impact.

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Fostering rural women’s entrepreneurship with solar energy solutions

Description of the project: India produces large quantities of fruits and vegetables, but more than 50% of this is wasted. The project aims to: 1) demonstrate the commercial viability of solar drying of fruits, vegetables and condiments, and convert them into profitable products on a micro enterprise scale; 2) equip rural poor women with solar dryers and train them on proper use. Sthree Sakthi Mahila Samajam installed solar powered air dryers in 2017
under the Socio-Economic Program of AIWC. The technology of dehydration gave several benefits such as minimizing food waste and facilitating higher income to rural women. Cereal grains, vegetables, fruits, etc., can be dried in solar dryers under clean conditions in reasonably short time.

Climate impact: Using solar energy has a direct mitigation benefit and reduces dependence on fossil or bio fuels. With one solar dryer, about 1 t. of liquid and 2.6 t. of semi-liquid raw materials can be dehydrated annually to produce mango bars, fruit candy, etc. This saves 1.2 t. of firewood per year. Additionally, it reduces rotting of fresh fruits, minimizing methane emissions by approximately 20 kg/ton. About 5-6 t. of material can be composted,
sequestering 1 t. CO2 more.

Gender impact: In the present project, a self-help group of 12 women operate two dryers in rotation. At any point, four women work on one dryer. Women trained in solar drying prepare hygienic value-added products from local produce. Economic gains include income of Rs.500-800 or Rs.1800-2000 per month (depending on the season and product). Other gender-gains or advantages are reduced work time (2 hours per day), and more time for household work and for other income generating activities.

Scalability / replicability: In 2005-2007, AIWC trained 50 women to start solar drying as an entrepreneurship, and a
manual for Solar Food Processing was developed. As a follow up, AIWC introduced a scheme where branches could access assistance under a socio-economic project with one dryer given as grant and a soft loan given to the branch for a second dryer. With two dryers, trained women could start income generating activities by selling the solar dried products on the local market.

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Bhungroo – small women farmers owning and developing an innovative rainwater saving technology

Description of the project: Erratic rain and irrigation scarcity contribute to food insecurity, financial losses and indebtedness for small farmers in India, especially in coastal areas. Bhungroo®, a locally developed rainwater management technology, saves farmers’ crops from waterlogging during monsoons and ensures adequate irrigation during dry seasons. The project relies on trained rural Women Climate Leaders (WCLs), who promote the technology and deliver fee-based agriculture expert advice. The co-ownership model has facilitated access to irrigation and farming facilities to smallholders, with each one ensuring food-security to 30-100 rural poor, and generating income of approximately USD $5700+ per year.

Climate impact: Gujarat State, India is prone to heavy flooding during monsoon and severe droughts the rest of year. Rainwater harvesting system Bhungroo®, supported by WCL services, brings back two harvests a year in areas that had become wastelands. The technology protects groundwater via a filtration system and increases soil fertility by reducing salinity, warding off desertification. With 30-year life-span, each unit conserves 1- 4 million liters of runoff water and saves 5-10 acres from water logging during wet seasons, while irrigates 22+ acres each winter.

Gender impact: Women form their own ownership groups, learning how to construct, install, and maintain Bhungroos and provide these services to other farmers. They adapt to climate change by being able to collect, store and distribute irrigation water as needed. This enables them to increase their revenue threefold. Becoming nutritionally and financially self-sufficient improves women farmers’ social status and helps them obtain formal land ownership, participate in village governance, and invest in the education of their children, including girls.

Scalability / replicability: Since 2011, over 3500 units of Bhungroo® have been constructed in 7 provinces of India as part of India’s rural development policy, but also in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Ghana. Replicability is ensured by the local sourcing of materials and the end users’ personal involvement in construction and maintenance. Expansion and up-scaling is based on the WCL model, where these first beneficiaries and users of Bhungroo have been trained and are now passing on their technical knowledge and understanding of climate adaptation.

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Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI) in India

Description of the project: The CCRI carries out a participatory assessment and documentation of community conservation initiatives in the light of threats to their customary practices such as grazing and small scale agriculture, that secure their livelihoods. Communities in 3 ecologically diverse Indian states- Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat- identified external and internal threats and participated in capacity building and training workshops, as well as resource mapping and focus group discussions. The project also contributes to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan and Aichi Targets by providing bottom-up policy advice on effective and appropriate forms of community conservation.

Climate impact: Local communities’ and indigenous peoples’ customary knowledge and practices regarding sustainable management of forests and grasslands is essential for climate adaptation and mitigation. Indeed, they have proven to provide human groups with enough resources for their livelihoods without over-exploiting nature. This project supports communities in defending their rights and sustainable practices against the multifaceted effects of deforestation.

Gender impact: The CCRI fostered dialogue between women and other marginalised groups of Tadoba Tiger Reserve and Gond communities, Banni grasslands and pastoralists groups in Gujarat, or eastern Himalayas in Bengal and Rabha communities from Nepal. This assessment revealed that gender differences form the basis of roles and responsibilities for the use and conservation of biodiversity and natural resources. Amplifying women’s
voices in decision-making processes and allowing them access promotes gender equality and is central to protecting and recovering traditional knowledge.

Scalability / replicability: This project is part of the global CCRI program, with 68 communities conducting similar assessments in 22 countries, proving its scalability and replicability. It can easily generate effective support for community conservation initiatives by highlighting the benefits of biodiversity conservation as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation. If policy and decision-makers integrate the CCRI recommendations made by local  communities, especially women, this powerful initiative will be further expanded.

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Access to water and sanitation and holistic approach for an inclusive climate resilience

Description of the project: Kynarou is developing an inclusive and sustainable development model with 10 Dalits (“untouchable” caste) communities in Tamil Nadou, India. Starting from the supply of drinking water and access to decent sanitation, this project runs an exemplary model of sustainable and inclusive development with the villagers, ranging from ecological treatment of wastewater to integrated solid waste management, including the creation of 120 organic vegetable gardens. With this comprehensive approach, Kynarou aims to increase the climatic resilience of the entire Vaigai River watershed, counting on the support of local authorities.

Climate impact: This project responds to a key – but little recognized – challenge of climate change: the disruption of the water cycle, which influences local thermoregulation. It contributes to mitigation and adaptation through the protection of groundwater and the responsible use of water resources, soil regeneration through the use of compost and filtered wastewater, reduction of pollution due to waste. When scaled up, this approach can improve the resilience of a catchment draining more than 7000 km2.

Gender impact: Improving hygiene and living conditions positively impacts women in priority through access to dignified sanitation, which limits gender-based violence, reduces urinary tract infections and increases the enrollment of girls. In addition, this project promotes the work and autonomy of women through village management committees that enable them to access decision-making processes in their village and exercise their civic rights.

Scalability / replicability: Based on the needs of the population, and supporting the appropriation of infrastructure by communities through the concept of village committees, Kynarou has already replicated its actions in 50 villages, improving the lives of 100,000 marginalized people. Since 2016, South-South cooperation with Burkina Faso and Madagascar has been put in place.

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Women-Driven Clean Kundrathur

Description of the project: The Kundrathur Solid Waste Management (SWM) project serves a town of 25,000 inhabitants with quality waste sorting and recycling, providing 64 underprivileged women and men with new employment as Green Friends. Women have been included in a male dominated sector via selfhelp groups that build their technical, environmental and social capacities. Green Friends conduct door-to-door waste collection,
recovery by composting, recycling and reuse, diverting most of the town’s garbage from landfills. The project, supported by 340 volunteers, improved the quality of air, water and soil by preventing methane release and waste burning. It also contributed to a major behavioural change regarding littering and waste management.

Climate impact: In serving the 8,500 households of Kundrathur, this SWM initiative has diverted 65-70% of the collected waste stream from reaching the landfill or being burned. 4,540t. of biodegradable waste has been turned into compost and 2181t. of other waste has been recycled. A clear climate contribution and improvement from the open dump yards that were causing heavy pollution and release of methane gas. The Green Friends are also
involved in a tree planting program.

Gender impact: HHIDS decided in 2013 to form women’s self-help groups in order to equally include female workers in this male-dominated industry. A dedicated coordinator specifically reached out to underprivileged women, who are now equally employed, assigned tasks, and paid. The current 32 women Green Friends enjoy full-time jobs with steady incomes, participate in decision making processes, have enrolled their children in school
and receive regular health screenings for their families.

Scalability / replicability: This successful model has been replicated in three nearby towns of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. Financial sustainability is achieved through the collection of user fees for the rendered SWM services and the sales of compost and recycled products. The project achieves positive behavioural changes towards source segregation and sparks initiatives addressing environmental and climate issues.

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Women as seed conservation and agro-ecology experts helping their communities resist climate change

WINNER

Description of the project: The project “Seeds for Hope” improves the climate resilience, food sovereignty and economic autonomy of farming communities (20,000 people) in the valley of Derhadun, in Northern India, relying on women’s knowledge and action. They are trained to reproduce and conserve local seeds, learn agro-ecological techniques and food transformation, which reinforces their power to make decisions. The project is led in partnership with the association Navdanya, created by Vandana Shiva. Direct beneficiaries: 745 farmers and their families in 31 villages.

Climate impact: The project addresses both mitigation and adaptation: agro-ecology reinforces soil fertility and moisture (organic matter contents increased by 25% between 2011 and 2015), seeds conservation and reproduction ensure biodiversity rehabilitation and food sovereignty: yields have improved by 20%, dependence on the purchase of seeds lowered by 50% and the quality and quantity of food supply are progressing. The Uttarakhand intends to become a 100% organic State.

Gender impact: The project promotes the key role that women play in subsistence farming and family nutrition in rural India. As owners of knowledge, conservation actors and distributors of seeds, as well as trainers in agro-ecology and micro-savings, women have gained a local political role, their living conditions and financial autonomy are improved. The project ensures their increased involvement in the good management of natural resources at all levels.

Scalability / replicability: The project’s durability is ensured by a 10-year partnership between SOL and Navdanya. Its model builds on the communities’ autonomy, from seeds reproduction to short circuit sale, and is easily replicable: it was extended to 16 new villages and 250 vegetable gardens managed by women will soon be set up. The project touches on other cross-cutting themes: sustainable water management, sanitary food, solidarity through support groups, multiplying indirect beneficiaries.

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Incorporating and institutionalizing the gender dimension in India’s State Action Plans on Climate Change

Description of the project: This evidence-based policy research project addressed the missing gender dimension in India’s State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs), working closely with the Central Environment Ministry and four State governments. India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change recognised in theory the differentiated climate change impacts on poor women but this was not addressed in the actual Plans. The project undertook policy analysis, gender budget analysis and field research on adaptive farming. Policy briefs and policy round-tables with State governments helped incorporate and institutionalise gender perspectives and actions into the SAPCCs and the Central Ministry‘s approval process.

Climate Impact: Project showed that compared to conventional agriculture, integrated, organic farming is more resilient to climate-induced disasters in the Indo-Gangetic flood plains of Uttar Pradesh, arid Deccan plateau in Andhra Pradesh and coastal Sunderbans in West Bengal. Integrated, organic agriculture withstands climate uncertainties better, with higher and more diverse farm-based productivity than conventional agriculture. Integrated, organic agriculture leads to better food security and more income for smallholder farmers – over 85% of India’s 600 million farm-based population – who rely on highly climate-sensitive farming practices. These results have strengthened state-level adoption of integrated, organic agriculture and especially understanding the role of gender in climate resilience.

Gender Impact: 1. The integral link between women and climate change adaptation was recognized in climate planning by the Central, State governments. 2. Succeeded in reflecting concerns of 87% of India’s working women living off climatesensitive smallholder farming. 3. Field research showed adaptive agriculture also puts more labour and time burden on women compared to men, which led grassroots groups, agriculture scientists to review organic farming from a gender lens. 4. Prepared UNDP’s Gender Mainstreaming Toolkit for state governments to implement SAPCCs; inclusion of climate change in the government’s High-level Committee’s Report on Status of Women to guide gender policy in future. 5. Contributed to India’s official submission on gender to the UNFCCC subsequent to the decision of the 18th Conference of Parties on advancing the gender balance goal.

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Minimum initial service package for Sexual and Reproductive Health services for women during post disaster

Description of the project: Minimum Initial Service Package in SRH Services is a post disaster adaptation strategy that includes coordination, services and planning. It ensures that women’s reproductive health needs are met, they have access to minimal health care services like prenatal care, assisted delivery, emergency obstetric care and avoid unsafe abortion. The initiative also ensures that districts and states have MISP integrated in every disaster management plan. Women leaders and volunteers from the community are selected for the Train of Trainers in MISP and encouraged to share their knowledge with wider networks.

Climate Impact: There has been significant increase in the number and intensity of disasters during the past decade as a result of increasing global warming, sea level rise and other seasonal changes. Within India, there are regions facing drought and flood in the same year due to the impacts of climate change. These unforeseen disasters take special toll on women and girls. It is estimated that in any displaced population, about 4% of the population is pregnant, of which, 15 % of the women experience obstetric complications risking their lives. Unfortunately, prenatal and emergency obstetric care is often unavailable to the survivors and disaster management services barely take the needs of women into account.

Gender Impact: Climate change adaptation plans need to be gender responsive, have a participatory and transparent approach as well as take into account the needs of vulnerable groups. Studies have revealed that women and children suffer the brunt of the chaos during most post disasters and reproductive health services are often unavailable. Quite a number of youngsters become more susceptible to HIV infection and sexual exploitation post disaster probably due to the lack of precautionary tools and depression caused by the situation. The MISP programme addresses most of the challenges women face during post disaster situation relating to sexual and reproductive health services.

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Training volunteers for door to door promotion of energy efficiency and alternative energy solutions

Description of the project: Clean energy and energy efficiency have been recognised as pragmatic means of mitigating climate change. The project aims to propagate clean energy and energy efficiency in the domestic sector by training young women through energy clinics across the state thereby reaching everyone in their community. In each clinic women visit households in the areas allotted to them and build capacity by educating the members of the households on the what, why, and how they can utilize clean energy in their homes through personal interactions. The aim is to motivate households to switch to clean energy for domestic requirements. Trained volunteers are paid a fixed sum per visit. Currently, energy clinic volunteer house visits are in progress in 9 of the 14 districts in Kerala.

Climate Impact: Project addresses mitigation through enhanced energy efficiency and clean energy appliances. It also provides income generation opportunities for poor women. The performance in terms of energy saved and number of green energy appliances adopted by the population will be judged in the final phase of the project.

Gender Impact: In the initial phase 100+ women were trained per district in 14 districts. Under the later phase thirty women are being trained per centre for household visits. Each woman will cover an average of 1000 households during the year. Beneficiaries will include 1400 trained women, 420 energy clinic workers and about 5000 members of the local population in one year. The trained women volunteers of the Energy Clinics will have a sustained income through house visits and agency for sale of solar appliances.

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Empowerment and climate change resilience for tribal and Dalit women in India

Description of the project: Participatory planning at the grassroots level is introduced for effective management and development of natural resources with a focus on initiating an ecovillage. A particular effort is to strengthen 53 tribal previously initiated women’s organizations from ten districts of Orissa at the block level. These groups in turn carry out social and ecological initiatives. The project is implemented while keeping in view the empowerment of socially excluded tribal and Dalit women, addressing the issues of climate change and ensuring respect for indigenous practices and traditional knowledge for protecting natural resources.

Climate Impact: All tribal women’s organization’s leaders are under the umbrella of Orissa Nari Aamaj, the state level organizations federation, and plan the activities addressing climate change, and disseminating information and good practices of some of their counterparts. The women leaders were selected by the organizations and they are trained by THREAD to participating in self-autonomous local institutions’ elections. Activities for mitigating climate change like organic farming, systematic rice intensification, organic manure production (using cow dung and cow urine), tree planting, lobbying for a forest rights act and community forests for tribes have been the main focus during the past seven years. THREAD supported tribal women to create awareness on peak oil after training them in the “Transition Town” concept.

Gender Impact: Over 325 tribal women have been elected as village representatives, panchayat presidents and vice chairpersons of their block.120 000 individual forest land titles are provided to the women who are the main recipients and owners. THREAD and tribal women leaders are also directly involved in creating employment through effective implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and have mobilised 1,06 million person days of labour among the tribal and Dalit families of Odisha. A ‘Grow Your Own Food’ drive has positively impacted the health and nutritional intake of women. Tribal women have been trained in block brick making and in masonry skills to construct their own eco-friendly homes. Over 5000 tribal women have been trained in permaculture and ecovillage design education.

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Building women’s capacities on seed conservation and agro-ecology to adapt to climate change

Description of the project: The project Seeds of Hope aims to improve resilience to climate change, food sovereignty, and the economic autonomy of women and farming communities in Northern India. It builds on preserving the biodiversity of the area and trains in priority women on agro-ecological techniques, seeds conservation and reproduction as well as food processing. Direct beneficiaries are 686 farmers, of which 95% are women. The French association SOL cooperates with Navdanya, an Indian association founded by Vandana Shiva.

Climate Impact: The project strengthens the climatic resilience of the region: agro-ecology strengthens the fertility and moisture of soils (organic matter content increases by 25% according to qualitative analysis), the conservation and reproduction of seeds allows for the rehabilitation of biodiversity, a climate mitigating factor. Yields have been improved by 20% and dependence on the purchase of seeds lowered by 50%; the quality and quantity of the food supply improved significantly. Uttarakhand aims to become a 100% organic State by 2020.

Gender Impact: In rural India, women play an essential role in subsistence farming and family nutrition. The training courses in which they participate strenghten their autonomy and their local democratic and political stature. The project fosters the generation of independent income for women, which improves their families’ living conditions and women’s human rights.

Scalability /replicability: The sustainability of the project is ensured by a 10-year partnership between French and Indian associations. Their goal is to extend the project to 15 new villages during the 2015- 2018 period, in order to use this model for similar climatic and agricultural areas, and to influence the Indian Government in the long-term for the promotion of organic agriculture.

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Economic empowerment of rural women with solar energy and micro-enterpreneurship

Description of the project: This green energy project aims to demonstrate the economic sustainability and gender impact of selling solar dried fruits, vegetables, and condiments. The micro-enterprise, created and managed by 5 women, uses 2 solar dryers (capacity of 50 kg each) to process and transform local seasonal fruits and vegetables into packaged food products with strong value added. They work with 43 women suppliers, who receive important additional revenues and reduce product wasting. The organization trains women’s groups in solar drying processes and marketing skills.

Climate Impact: Using solar dryers reduces the dependence on fossil fuel and saves 1.2 t. firewood /year. 3,6 t. raw fruits, vegetables and spices are dehydrated annually to produce fruit bars, pepper, arrow root powder, tamarind, chips and wafers. Reducing the rotting of raw fruits (about 3 t. jackfruit, guava, mango) also minimizes CH4 emissions. About 5-6 t. of compost used for kitchen gardens, sequestering 1 t. CO2. Climate change awareness and knowledge has been increased among households and women’s groups.

Gender Impact: Women are empowered through local production and selling of high value-add food products. Revenue increase for women employees and suppliers (from10$ to 30$ /month depending on the season and product). Reduced labour burden (2 hrs/day), creating time for other income generating activities. Participation in purchasing and processing decisions, marketing, and profits sharing. The micro-enterprise participates in fairs and festivals to share knowledge, offer training support.

Scalability /replicability: Started with 1 solar dryer in 2005. Has since expanded to a micro-enterprise in 2009 with one more dryer, more equipment and technical training. Today more than 400 women have been trained in solar drying process and entrepreneurship skills. The micro-entreprise format can be replicated, as well as the distribution structure: retail outlets, schools, local markets.

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Solar home lighting systems promoted by indigenous young women in their tribal communities

Description of the project: The project trains indigenous young women to install solar photovoltaic systems for indoor lighting in tribal homes of the forest area of Wayanad – India. RASTA cooperates with the Barefoot College women of Rajasthan to train young women from a tribal community on installing and operating photovoltaic lamps. After the training, the young women conduct installations in their community, and motivate the community to contribute with a small fee for ongoing and future maintenance. The major beneficiaries are school children and women, as the illuminated homes allow time for homework and keeps wild animals away.

Climate Impact: The photovoltaic systems, installed in 165 households of a remote forest area, have reduced the climate impact of the tribal community by approximately 16.5 tons of GHG. Their consumption of kerosene has been considerably reduced by around 10,000 liter per year. The lamps’ batteries can be returned, recycled and refitted, reducing the environmental impact of the project.

Gender Impact: The project’s committee consists of 80% women and the installations are carried out by trained tribal girls. The installation process attracts women, who are taking on a job traditionally done by men. The social recognition and the economic status of the female solar engineers have improved. As a consequence, dropouts of girls from school have been reduced and women have improved reading habits.

Scalability /replicability: RASTA identified the technical viability for community participation in the project. The role of RASTA is to transmit technical knowledge and to provide awareness training to beneficiaries. The project can be installed in any remote village.

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Bioloos: climate-friendly, sustainable gender responsive toilets

Description of the project: The project enables access to safe & sustainable sanitation to women and their families, school children and rail passengers. Women suffer disproportionately from lack of sanitation. Bioloo improves their security and dignity by providing gender- sensitive and climate-friendly affordable toilet systems. Banka Bioloo is a social enterprise founded by a woman, Manita Banka. She has implemented Bioloos in 2000 schools/households and 2000 trains; thus benefitting over 10000 adults, 50000 school children, and 60,000 daily train travellers.

Climate Impact: The bioloo disposes human waste in a 100% eco-friendly manner, saves energy and water (no flush toilet) and produces bio-gas. It treats the human waste as a resource that can be re-used, and removes the need for transport of the faeces. It prevents contamination of groundwater with pathogens, and does not require any external infrastructure. The bioloos are a great technical solution for climate mitigation and adaptation.

Gender Impact: The bioloo social enterprise is led by a woman working with grass-root communities, ensuring that women’s needs are taken into account. Women are the biggest beneficiaries of the bioloo as it is documented that lack of sanitation exposes women to violence and health risks, and reduces their access to school. Women are consulted at the starting phase and are active partners in the project implementation. Financial support is organized for poor women-headed households. Banka BioLoo works to create programs and projects towards advancement of women.

Scalability /replicability: Banka BioLoo’s model is scalable and replicable across geographical areas or terrains; suited for all income groups and social backgrounds; for urban, peri-urban and rural areas; beaches; or hilly areas – almost anywhere. The bacteria used can withstand temperatures from -5°C to 50°C. Since 2012, the social enterprise has installed bioloos in 20 Indian states and has developed partnerships with other organisations. Bioloo is currently working on ways to take the bio-digester technology to other countries, such as in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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