Environmental and Social management are the two important aspects in efficient Watershed Management . Lots of efforts are being made in Watershed management to address the issue of Environmental and Social management aspects.
Why Environmental and Social Management is important ?
It is important that any Watershed intervention whatsoever is taken in Watershed management should not have any adverse impact on Environmental and Social Management. This way Sustainability and ecological balance can be achieved. Especially in hilly Watershed Environmental and Social management plays a vital role.
How to go for Environmental and Social Management ?
It is wise to develop formats in such a way that all adverse impacts of any intervention is tabulated .Later on the interventions selected for Watershed planning should be screened through these formats. Only the interventions showing no adverse impact on the Environmental and Social aspects should finally be selected. This way, a system will develop to finalize the interventions screened through Environmental and Social management aspects.
Mitigation measures in Environmental and Social management
What is Mitigation ?
Mitigation means to reduce the adverse impact of any interventions in Watershed Management to a minimal level so that the adverse impact become non significant
Why Mitigation is to be incorporated ?
It may happen that an intervention selected is the necessity in a particular watershed area and hence is must to be executed in that Watershed area. Under such circumstances, efforts has to be made to execute the intervention in such a way that the adverse impact is reduced to a minimal level in such a way that the interventions taken has no more significant adverse impact.
How to Mitigate?
First of all let’s take a Watershed interventions that can have an adverse impact on both Environmental and social management aspects ex- Tomato Cultivation in hills
Tomato cultivation in hills.
In hilly areas, the tomato cultivation is done. Indeterminate variety is used for Tomato cultivation. Staking is an important cultural operation to be followed to support the tomato plant.
Adverse impact on Environmental aspects
For staking, the bushes are used. These bushes are collected from forest and nearby areas .The cutting and slashing of shrubs/tree in forest area leads to ecological imbalances and hence poses serious threats to Environment.
Adverse impact on Social aspects
The bushes used for staking purpose are collected especially by woman masses , children’s and even old persons with heavy load of bushes on their back. All this poses adverse social impacts. The women masses has to devote much of their precious time in collecting the bushes . The women get less time to complete their daily routine work. Hence add pressure of work on them .Likewise, children and old persons in Villages also collects the bushes from forest and nearby areas.
Mitigation measure to be adopted
The Pole and wire/rope technique for staking is the better substitute .It will reduce both the adverse Environmental & Social impact. It is a Sustainable means of tomato crop production rather than simply tomato Crop production. The farmers are adopting it but in some places log/wood is yet to replace by Pole.