Project: Khasi Hills Community REDD+ Project, India
Name: Bansaralang Nongbri
Age: 25 years
Community: Dympep Village, East Khasi Hills, India
What are your contributions towards the project?
I’m a member of the Local Working Committee (LWC) which oversees the Dympep village cluster.
COTAP Note: Local Working Committees link the project’s federation of 9 indigenous governments to its 62 villages, and are integral to developing, implementing, and monitoring each village cluster’s natural resource management plan. Read more about the Khasi Hills REDD+ project’s organizational structure in its Project Design Document.
How do you feel about the project?
The project is conserving and restoring our village’s forests while also improving our livelihoods. It addresses several problems, one of which has been an insufficient awareness about the many important roles of trees.
It’s been an eye-opener that’s changing our mindset towards better forest management and socio-economic strategies. It has deepened our communities’ understanding of the importance of collective environmental responsibility and that improved livelihood approaches can coexist with sustaining our forests.
Do you think the project can improve family incomes?
We are very hopeful and confident that the project will improve our livelihoods, one reason being its multiple sources of support. The carbon fund is one part of the projects’ financial incentives for restoring and protecting the forests, the other part comes from the government.
What impacts is the project having?
The forests are regenerating and water bodies are being replenished, and even growing, as a result. Now people are much more environmentally engaged and also equipped to be able to take up small projects through Self Help Groups (SHG’s) and Farmers’ clubs.
What are some things you are learning?
I have learned about forest conservation, tree nurseries, and how our forests and water are inseparable. This has heightened our recognition of the need to protect and restore the forest. The socio-economic aspects of the project are teaching our villages about savings, bookkeeping, micro enterprise and team work. This broadens the social mindset of our community, and even reduces issues like jealousy and gossiping!
What have been some of the project’s challenges?
There haven’t been that many serious problems yet because the project leaders have been keen to engage communities with ongoing training and awareness programs.