| Livestock Environment and Development in Watersheds
Summary: The Policy note deals with livestock – environment interactions in the watershed areas. It aims at striking a balance between making livestock a viable livelihood option and preserving the environment by promotion of sustainable resource management practices. The paper provides recommendations for achieving this balance and is targeted at policy makers, implementers, practitioners, NGOs, government departments, gram panchayats and community-based organizations. Various critical issues addressed here include common property resources, availability of quality services such as feeding, breeding, disease control, formal institutional credit and marketing, integration of livestock in watershed development programmes and so on. Every issue addressed is backed by case studies depicting best practices that can be adopted to overcome the issue. The paper recommends creating increased awareness to the various stakeholders, providing alternatives to grazing issues, measures that can help overcome fodder scarcity during drought, provisions for drinking water for livestock, coordination between various departments and training to overcome issues related to livestock-environment interactions. It advocates incorporating livestock component into the watershed programmes at the designing stage itself.
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Millions of poor farming families in
rural India rear livestock, which is
often their only means of sustained
livelihood. These animals also contribute to
ecological services. However, several practices
today – related to access, use and management
of resources – diminish the natural resource
base and are a cause of grave concern.