Management of the Commons: building dialogue over water and governance

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Wetlands International South Asia in collaboration with Unnati, Gujarat, conducted a five-day awareness campaign, from 9th-14th December, on revival and management of the Common property resource (CPR) in five gram panchayats of Bhachau block in Kutch district of Gujarat. The campaign sought to highlight the degraded condition of shared natural ecosystems like forests, wetlands and Pasturelands; Mobilise the local communities to lead ecosystem conservation and wise use and identify issues, concerns and potential solutions and initiatives.

The campaign drew a large crowd, with almost 900 individuals from all walks of life participating, including 200 women and 500 children. Various events especially curated for the campaign, like transect walk, community meetings, games and skits designed to showcase the cause and effects of management and degradation of natural resources were held.

This initiative acted as a major turning point facilitating maiden dialogue on the critical issue of ecosystem degradation amongst the community. It also sensitized the people on the need to preserve common property resources for their own survival and sustenance. Also, the elected local representatives pledged to address the raised concerns and decided that issues and solutions will be included within Gram Panchayat Development Plans besides initiating action for eliciting further support from the State Government.

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