Search This Blog

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Creating Awareness About the Concept of Rewarding Upland Poor for Environmental Services (RUPES) in India

The RUPES approach falls within the larger concept of ‘Markets for Environmental Services’. RUPES is a program for developing mechanisms for rewarding the upland poor in Asia for the environmental services they provide. The goal of the program is to enhance the livelihoods and reduce poverty of the upland poor while supporting environmental conservation at local and global levels.

In an effort to create awareness regarding the concept of RUPES in India, Winrock International India (WII), funded by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), undertook a pilot project in the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in the Kullu district of the mountain state of Himachal Pradesh. The objective of this project was to create awareness regarding the concept of RUPES among local communities residing in the eco-development zone of the Park through the medium of street theatre and among state-level policy makers through direct interactions. This was done in partnership with a local NGO, SAHARA, which had already formed a ‘Kala Jatha’ or theatre group for awareness generation activities. The project helped to:

* Sensitize SAHARA staff (including those in the Kala Jatha) regarding the concept and aims of RUPES

* Improve the acting, speech delivery and presentation skills of the members of the Kala Jatha through a theatre workshop

* Prepare a play that conveyed the RUPES concept by contextualizing it to the local situation / issues

* Present this play in several villages in the eco-development zone of the GHNP and solicit feedback / reactions from the local communities

* Sensitize state and national-level government officials and practitioners regarding the concept of RUPES through direct interactions and a flyer

No comments: