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In April 2018, the World Bank signed a $48 million loan agreement for revitalising natural resources in Meghalaya through a community-led landscape approach.
The development objective of the Meghalaya Community-Led Landscapes Management Project for India is to strengthen community-led landscapes management in selected landscapes in the state of Meghalaya.
Meghalaya’s natural resources such as land, water sources and forests is a source of livelihood for a majority of the population in the state.
The project is expected to benefit 100,000 people in rural Meghalaya besides building the capacity of 30,000 youth through access to technology.
The Project will help manage these depleting resources, by strengthening communities and traditional institutions.
Restoration of degraded and highly degraded landscapes under the Project will increase water for local communities and improve the soil productivity which will in turn increase incomes and reduce poverty.
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The project will prioritize around 400 villages located in ‘very critical’ and ‘critical’ (degraded) landscapes, over a period of five years, for their treatment.
Landscape planning and investments will be preceded by extensive training for communities and project management staff at the field level.
The project will extend such training to communities beyond the targeted villages to help expand the reach of the project to a wider cohort of villages.
At the state-level, all communities will benefit from training and development; additionally, small grants will be given to kick-start innovation around natural resource management.
Traditional knowledge related to natural resource management will also be captured and fostered as a part of this process.
A special emphasis will be on creating climate resilient livelihood opportunities for communities, particularly youth and women.
The project is designed to support the state's three tribal communities: Garo, Khasi, Jaintia- in managing its forests and natural resources through customary laws.
The forests are designated as ‘unclassified forests’ in the state records and for the most part do not receive technical or financial support from state institutions.
Further, there are no water-related institutions or legal frameworks for water management in the state. Waterbodies, rivers, and springs are considered common property like forests and are managed by traditional tribal institutions.
The $48 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 15 years.