Foundation for Ecological Security

Ānand, India

Foundation for Ecological Security

Ānand, India
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Chhatre A.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Lakhanpal S.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Larson A.M.,Center for International Forestry Research | Nelson F.,Maliasili Initiatives | And 3 more authors.
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2012

We provide a synthesis of recent scholarship on social safeguards and co-benefits in REDD+ with a focus on debates on: first, tenure security, and second, effective participation of local communities. Scholars have explored both proximate and long-term co-benefits of REDD+ interventions, with an emerging trend that links safeguards to improved social co-benefits. Proximate co-benefits include improved rural livelihoods and lower costs of implementation. Long-term co-benefits include greater adaptive capacity of local communities and increasing transparency and accountability in forest governance. Our review suggests that greater tenure security and effective participation of local communities in management will not only prevent adverse social outcomes, but will also enable better forest outcomes and improved capacity for forest governance. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Oblinger J.A.,Clemson University | Moysey S.M.J.,Clemson University | Ravindrinath R.,Foundation for Ecological Security | Guha C.,Foundation for Ecological Security
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2010

The informal construction of small dams to capture runoff and artificially recharge ground water is a widespread strategy for dealing with water scarcity. A lack of technical capacity for the formal characterization of these systems, however, is often an impediment to the implementation of effective watershed management practices. Monitoring changes in reservoir storage provides a conceptually simple approach to quantify seepage, but does not account for the losses occurring when seepage is balanced by inflows to the reservoir and the stage remains approximately constant. To overcome this problem we evaluate whether a physically-based volume balance model that explicitly represents watershed processes, including reservoir inflows, can be constrained by a limited set of data readily collected by non-experts, specifically records of reservoir stage, rainfall, and evaporation. To assess the impact of parameter non-uniqueness associated with the calibration of the non-linear model, we perform a Monte Carlo analysis to quantify uncertainty in the total volume of water contributed to the subsurface by the 2007 monsoon for a dam located in the Deccan basalts near the village of Salri in Madhya Pradesh, India. The Monte Carlo analysis demonstrated that subsurface losses from the reservoir could be constrained with the available data, but additional measurements are required to constrain reservoir inflows. Our estimate of seepage from the reservoir (7.0 ± 0.6 × 104 m3) is 3.5 times greater than the recharge volume estimated by considering reservoir volume changes alone. This result suggests that artificial recharge could be significantly underestimated when reservoir inflows are not explicitly included in models. Our seepage estimate also accounts for about 11% of rainfall occurring upstream of the dam and is comparable in magnitude to natural ground water recharge, thereby indicating that the reservoir plays a significant role in the hydrology of this small watershed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DeFries R.,Columbia University | Mondal P.,Columbia University | Singh D.,Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory | Agrawal I.,Foundation for Ecological Security | And 3 more authors.
Global Food Security | Year: 2016

Sustainable agriculture has multiple objectives, including efficient use of land to produce nutrients for human consumption, climate resilience, and income for farmers. We illustrate an approach to examine trade-offs and synergies among these objectives for monsoon cereal crops in central India. We estimate nutritional yields for protein, energy and iron and examine the sensitivity of yields to monsoon rainfall and temperature. Rice, the dominant crop in the region, is the least land efficient for providing iron and most sensitive to rainfall variability. Sorghum and maize provide high nutritional yields while small millet is most resilient to climate variability. Price incentives are strong for rice. No single crop is superior for all objectives in this region. Instead, understanding which crops, or combinations of crops, are most suitable requires identifying household-, community-, and region-specific priorities coupled with empirical analysis that considers multiple objectives. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Yadama G.N.,Washington University in St. Louis | Peipert J.,Washington University in St. Louis | Sahu M.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Sahu M.,Washington University in St. Louis | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

We examine if social and economic factors, fuelwood availability, market and media access are associated with owning a modified stove and variation in household emissions from biomass combustion, a significant environmental and health concern in rural India. We analyze cross-sectional household socio-economic data, and PM2.5 and particulate surface area concentration in household emissions from cookstoves (n = 100). This data set combines household social and economic variables with particle emissions indexes associated with the household stove. The data are from the Foundation for Ecological Society, India, from a field study of household emissions. In our analysis, we find that less access to ready and free fuelwood and higher wealth are associated with owning a replacement/modified stove. We also find that additional kitchen ventilation is associated with a 12% reduction in particulate emissions concentration (p<0.05), after we account for the type of stove used. We did not find a significant association between replacement/modified stove on household emissions when controlling for additional ventilation. Higher wealth and education are associated with having additional ventilation. Social caste, market and media access did not have any effect on the presence of replacement or modified stoves or additional ventilation. While the data available to us does not allow an examination of direct health outcomes from emissions variations, adverse environmental and health impacts of toxic household emissions are well established elsewhere in the literature. The value of this study is in its further examination of the role of social and economic factors and available fuelwood from commons in type of stove use, and additional ventilation, and their effect on household emissions. These associations are important since the two direct routes to improving household air quality among the poor are stove type and better ventilation. © 2012 Yadama et al.

Meinzen-Dick R.,International Food Policy Research Institute | Chaturvedi R.,Foundation for Ecological Security | Domenech L.,International Food Policy Research Institute | Ghate R.,International Center for Integrated Mountain Development | And 3 more authors.
Ecology and Society | Year: 2016

Groundwater is a common-pool resource that is subject to depletion in many places around the world as a result of increased use of irrigation and water-demanding cash crops. Where state capacity to control groundwater use is limited, collective action is important to increase recharge and restrict highly water-consumptive crops. We present results of field experiments in hard rock areas of Andhra Pradesh, India, to examine factors affecting groundwater use. Two nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) ran the games in communities where they were working to improve watershed and water management. Results indicate that, when the links between crop choice and groundwater depletion is made explicit, farmers can act cooperatively to address this problem. Longer NGO involvement in the villages was associated with more cooperative outcomes in the games. Individuals with more education and higher perceived community social capital played more cooperatively, but neither gender nor method of payment had a significantly effect on individual behavior. When participants could repeat the game with communication, similar crop choice patterns were observed. The games provided an entry point for discussion on the understanding of communities of the interconnectedness of groundwater use and crop choice. © 2016 by the author(s).

Leavey A.,Washington University in St. Louis | Londeree J.,Washington University in St. Louis | Londeree J.,Ohio State University | Priyadarshini P.,Foundation for Ecological Security | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2015

Almost 3 billion people around the globe use traditional three-stone cookstoves and open fires to warm and feed themselves. The World Health Organization estimates annual mortality rates from domestic solid fuel combustion to be around 4 million. One of the most affected countries is India. Quantifying pollutant concentrations from these cookstoves during different phases of operation and understanding the factors influencing their variability may help to identify where improvements should be targeted, enhancing indoor air quality for millions of the world's most vulnerable people. Gas and particulate measurements were collected between June and August, 2012, for 51 households using traditional cookstoves, in the villages of Udaipur district, Rajasthan, India. Mean pollutant concentrations during steady-state mode were 4989 μm2 cm-3, 9835 μg m-3, and 18.5 ppm for lung-deposited surface area, PM2.5, and CO, respectively. Simple and multivariate regression analysis was conducted. Fuel amount, fuel diameter, duration of the cookstove run, roof-type, and the room dimension explained between 7% and 21% of the variability for the pollutant metrics. CO demonstrated weaker correlations with explanatory variables. Some of these variables may be indicative of socio-economic status and could be used as proxies of exposure in lieu of pollutant measurements, hence these variables may help identify which households to prioritize for intervention. Such associations should be further explored. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

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