Impact of Eco-Village Development Projects in South Asia – a Review

By Purnima Joshi

The recently released report “Impact Assessment of Eco-Village Development Projects” presents a detailed analysis of the Next Generation #LowCarbon, Climate Resilient Eco-Village Development project in South Asia. The project coordinated by DIB, Denmark, and supported by the Climate and Environment Fund of Civil Society in Development (CISU), Denmark, with local regional and country partners INFORSE, INSEDA (India), IDEA (Sri Lanka), CRT/N (Nepal) and Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), offers a comprehensive analysis of sustainable development practices in rural South Asia. The report focuses on eco-village development (EVD) and its role in mitigating climate change impacts while improving livelihoods in vulnerable communities. This review synthesizes key findings from a four-year-long effort in the South Asian region, to highlight the effectiveness of EVD solutions and their potential for broader adoption in the region.

The #EVD projects in South Asia promote local solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of communities. These solutions encompass a range of simple, inexpensive, renewable energy technologies in sustainable energy, agriculture, water management, and gardening. They are designed to be pro-poor, pro-women, and have a low-carbon approach to development. The EVD solutions are implemented through a bottom-up process that involves local institutions, government, #CivilSociety, and the communities themselves.

An important aspect of the EVD projects is their impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The projects have led to considerable reductions in emissions through the adoption of improved cookstoves, household biogas plants, solar power and lighting solutions, and organic agriculture practices. These solutions not only reduce emissions but also improve indoor air quality, reduce deforestation, and enhance agricultural productivity.

The EVD projects have also had significant socio-economic benefits. They have contributed to poverty alleviation, improved livelihoods, and women’s empowerment. Access to clean, affordable energy has lifted people out of poverty and stimulated economic growth in rural areas. The projects have also enhanced climate resilience by promoting #SustainableAgriculture practices and #RenewableEnergy technologies.

The impact assessment of the EVD projects demonstrates their effectiveness in addressing climate change impacts in South Asian villages. The projects have helped communities adapt to climate impacts such as floods, cyclones, water scarcity, and changing climate patterns. By implementing EVD solutions, communities have become more resilient to these challenges and have improved their overall well-being.

The success of the EVD projects lies in their demonstration-based approach. The projects use model villages to showcase the effectiveness of EVD solutions, which serves as an evidence base for advocacy and replication at the local and regional levels. The projects have also engaged local communities in the planning and implementation of solutions, ensuring that they are tailored to local needs and priorities.

These projects in South Asia have demonstrated the potential of local solutions to address climate change impacts and improve livelihoods in rural communities. By promoting sustainable development practices, these projects have shown that low-carbon, climate-resilient eco village development is not only feasible but also beneficial for communities and the environment. However, more efforts are needed to scale up these initiatives and ensure their long-term sustainability across the region, which can generate a significant impact to the NDCs of the countries of South Asia.

Purnima Joshi is Communications Coordinator at CANSA. 

#CivilSociety  #EVD  #LowCarbon  #RenewableEnergy  #SustainableAgriculture