Biodiversity conservation and rural livelihood improvement project: social & environmental assessment of Askot landscape

The Government of India has received credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and a grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) towards the design and implementation of a new project titled the Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihood Improvements Project (BCRLIP). The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), India, is implementing the BCRLIP. Based on experiences from earlier projects, the MoEF is scaling up the current initiative to the landscape level. The proposed BCRLIP aims to conserve biodiversity in selected landscapes, including wildlife protected areas/critical conservation areas while improving rural livelihoods through participatory approaches. Joint Forest Management (JFM) and ecodevelopment in some states are models of new approaches that provide benefits to both conservation and local communities. The project intends to build on these models and extend the lessons to other globally significant sites in the country in order to strengthen linkages between conservation and improving livelihoods of local communities that live in the neighborhood of biodiversity-rich areas as well as to enhance the local and national economy. The Askot landscape in the Uttranchal is one such landscape selected for this project.