World Environment Day 2024-Story-WC

One village at a time: Towards a climate resilient nation


Climate change is unequivocal and must be tackled as a national priority in order to enhance climate resilience in Indian villages. Rural communities especially face the brunt of these conditions as it creates stress on natural systems especially on water resources. Excess or scarce rainfall, droughts, land degradation, diminished agriculture production or drying up of water resources all constitute risks faced by agrarian producers as a result of climate change. These risks are compounded by poor farming conditions, increased input costs, inefficient land use and falling incomes among other factors. 

The Rural Transformation BIJ (Bharat-India Jodo) programme of Reliance Foundation is working in more than 5,000 villages to achieve climate resilience and empower communities to enhance their adaptive capacities against the impact of climate change. It endeavors to do so through sustainable management of natural resources, augmenting water supply for both livelihood and drinking water purposes, and promoting climate-smart agriculture practices. These objectives align with the goals of National Action Plan for Climate Change and State Action Plan for Climate Change to address challenges, assess vulnerable areas and develop climate action strategies. In particular, these interventions also align with Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 13 that deal with sustainable management of water and climate action respectively. These synergies enable adaptive responses to climate change and provide a holistic approach to increasing resilience at the community level. 


Enhancing Drinking water accessibility in villages

Water resource management is one of the pivotal aspects of Reliance Foundation BIJ intervention towards creating climate resilience. In many cases, even the basic necessity of drinking water is not met due to lack of accessible sources. This can compromise with both health and hygiene outcomes as well as affect productivity in agricultural and other livelihood activities. Vulnerability to climate-related disruptions increases without access to adequate infrastructure for storage and distribution. The BIJ programme seeks to minimise these risks by mobilising rural communities to identify these gaps in their water management systems and supports them with the appropriate mechanism to do so. 

Grey Water Management

Incorporating grey water management strategies into village infrastructure is not only an effective means of addressing water-related challenges exacerbated by climate change but also a proactive step toward building the resilience needed to navigate an increasingly unpredictable climate future.

Soil and Moisture Conservation

Soil and moisture conservation is a key aspect of natural resource management at the local level. Reliance Foundation BIJ promotes these practices to contribute to improving water availability, preventing run-off, supporting sustainable agriculture, promoting biodiversity to enhance capacity of ecosystems and communities. 

Climate Smart Agriculture Practices

It is important that agriculture should be resilient to climatic risks as well as increase production to meet increasing food demands. The Rural Transformation BIJ interventions seek to integrate agronomic interventions with climate smart practices and farmers’ traditional knowledge at local level to ensure that crops can withstand the challenges of changing climatic conditions, ensure consistent agricultural production, protect livelihoods and contribute to sustainability.

•    Capacity building: Providing farmers with knowledge about climate change impacts and adaptation strategies empowers them to make informed decisions. Here farmers are working on crop cutting experiments, practices that will contribute to increase crop yields.
•    Diversification of crops: Planting a variety of crops that have different climate tolerances and growth patterns helps spread risk. If one crop fails due to adverse conditions, others may still thrive, reducing the vulnerability of the entire system.
•    Mechanisation of farm operations contributes to climate-smart agriculture by optimizing resource use, enhancing soil and water management and bolstering agricultural productivity in the face of climate variability.
•    Incorporating biofortified varieties of crops and better seed varieties promotes crop production better able to withstand local climatic changes with enhanced disease and pest resistance.

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