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Integrated Basin Development and livelihood Promotion Programme (IBDLP)

INTRODUCTION

The State’s rural population is heavily dependent upon the natural resources for livelihood support. However, pressure on natural resources due to increased needs coupled with unsustainable resource utilization warrant putting in place a developmental framework that ensures sustainable livelihoods, gainful employment opportunities, and inclusive growth. Climate change coping strategies (mitigating and adaptive measures) further call for a fresh approach toward appropriate natural resources planning and management. Better convergence, better governance and higher participation of the Community in the Developmental efforts will have to be therefore, central to any new initiative for holistic development.

In spite of rich natural resource base and the opportunities that come along with it, substantial population of the State particularly in the rural areas has to still grapple with very low income. Clearly it portrays the case of poverty amidst plenty. About half the people of Meghalaya live below the poverty line (Meghalaya State Planning Board, 2009). If we were to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of halving the poverty level and improving the basic services and welfare of the people residing in rural villages comprising 4,30,573 lakh households, it is imperative to adopt a forward looking approach for making optimum and productive utilization of the State’s natural resources, viz., ‘Water’, ‘Land’ and ‘Biotic Resources’.

While keeping in view the above scenario, and in order to achieve overall targets of holistic development and in line with the perspective of promoting inclusive growth with a focus on poverty alleviation, employment generation and livelihood promotion as highlighted by the 35thPlanning Commission in its Approach Paper to the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Government of Meghalaya launched a State flagship programme titled “Integrated Basin Development & Livelihood Promotion Programme (IBDLP)” in April 2012. The Programme envisions mission mode interventions for promoting optimum and effective development and utilization of Basin resources of Meghalaya for ensuring livelihood security and inclusive growth in a sustainable framework.

APPROACH

The Integrated Basin Development and Livelihood Promotion (IBDLP) Programme was launched by the Government of Meghalaya as its flagship programme in 2012 in order to create a statewide institutional ecosystem for ecologically sustainable and economically inclusive development in Meghalaya. The Programme aims to put Meghalaya on a higher growth trajectory and improve the quality of life and well being of all its citizens. It seeks to redefine the relationship between the citizen and state and to bring about a paradigm shift in the way development is viewed and administered by moving from the current supply driven beneficiary model of development to a demand driven partnership model of development.

Thus IBDLP is a strongly citizen-centric programme that emphasizes entrepreneurship and intellectual development of the people of Meghalaya as the pathway to its vision for sustainable development: individuals’ entrepreneurial capacity to start successful enterprises, communities’ leadership capacity to take action on ecological and economic issues that are critical to them, citizens’ capacity to identify their own development aspirations and make these aspirations a reality.

The IBDLP programme is not prescriptive in nature and leaves space for the choices regarding planning and implementation of demand side initiatives by the citizens and entrepreneurs. Rather, IBDLP focuses on building a systematic, inclusive framework within which sustainable, inclusive, people-centred development can occur.

KEY FEATURES

  1. Strengthen statewide institutions for good governance that respond to the needs and demands of the people, and that enable collaboration between citizens and the government
  2. Facilitate convergence across government departments so that cross-cutting sectors can be addressed and public service delivery becomes effective and responsive to on-ground realities
  3. reconceptualise citizens as active “partners” and not as passive “beneficiaries”, thus catalysing people’s aspirations and creating in them the spirit of enterprise
  4. Ensure that the twin goals of natural resource management and livelihoods are simultaneously integrated into every initiative to enable wholistic sustainable development
  5. Catalyze, support and invest in the entire sustainable development value chain - from skills and resources for community partners, to market infrastructure of regional markets, to state level institutions for policy and technical knowledge
  6. Promote livelihoods through enterprise and entrepreneurship rather than through direct subsidies and grants
  7. Promote natural resource management not through top-down policies and programmes, but through community-led initiatives for sustainable use of natural resources
  8. The core thrust of the programme is on creating an ecosystem for inclusive growth and sustainable development and not on direct benefits transfer to individuals and households to ensure systemic reforms rather than short term solutions
  9. Thus the programme ensures universal access to institutional services under its interventions rather than use a targeted approach that may lead to exclusion or marginalisation
  10. Where targeted investment of resources is required, investment is based on fair and transparent policies and not on arbitrary selection of individuals, interventions or regions

SUPPORTING GOVERNMENT FOR EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE

The IBDLP programme does not substitute or duplicate efforts made through existing government departments and agencies. Rather, it focuses on supplementing the efforts of these agencies by way of knowledge support, viability gap funding and carrying forward any unfinished development agenda in the area of value chains development. Most of this work remains in the background and most of it focuses on the demand side, i.e. the people and communities of Meghalaya.

Where additional investments are required to support initiatives at the local level, IBDLP typically channels funds through concerned line departments. As IBDLP’s goal is to build institutional capacity rather than implementing top-down, short-term interventions, funding through line departments is preceded by discussions with departments around planned interventions, and followed by technical assistance to the departments for effective deployment of the funds. This long-term vision and focus on institution-building and governance re-engineering rather than short-term project implementation makes the IBDLP a unique initiative.

SUPPORTING MISSIONS

The implementation period of the programme is co- terminus with the XII plan period, 2012-17. The IBDLP is designed around four pillars namely Knowledge Services, Natural Resource Management, Entrepreneurship Development and Good Governance and is being implemented in a Mission mode through nine missions as below

  1. Apiculture Mission
  2. Aquaculture Mission
  3. Energy Mission
  4. Forestry & Plantation Crops Mission
  5. Horticulture Mission
  6. Livestock Mission
  7. Mission Green
  8. Mission Organic
  9. Sericulture Mission
  10. Tourism Mission
  11. Water Mission

ACCOMPANYING MEASURES

  1. Information and Communication technology
  2. Knowledge Management
  3. Communication
  4. Capacity Building
  5. Infrastructure
  6. Governance
  7. Policy Support/ Legislation
  8. Institutional development (SHG, Federations, Producer groups)
  9. Financial inclusion
  10. Market Linkages
  11. Convergence

EXPECTED OUTCOME

Considering the fact that water as a resource has attained increasing significance and since the 12th Plan also gives more focus on water Integrated Water Resource management has been assigned the central focus in this programme. The state of Meghalaya is blessed with bountiful water resources that needs to be harnessed. Hydrologically the State comprises of two basins, viz., the Left Bank of Brahmaputra Basin (11220.11km2) and the Brahmaputra Tributaries Basin (11208.89km2), three catchments viz., Kalang to Dhansiri Confluence (about 4499.61km2).

Bangladesh Border to Kalang Confluence (About 6720.50km2) and South Flowing Drainage of Meghalaya (11208.89km2), eight sub catchments with a size range of 2.08 to 2.46 lakh hectare 35 watersheds with a size range of 0.05 to 2.67 lakh hectare and 179 watersheds with a size range of 0.03 to 0.22 lakh hectare. However, the hydrological units in the state are under stress as evident from the drying of springs and water sources, declining water storage capacities and reduced depth of flow of streams and rivers due to excessive human use, and sedimentation. This trend would call for urgent measures to arrest failing which the social, economic and ecological development of the state itself could be adversely affected.

Therefore, the thrust areas of the IBDLP included Integrated Water Resource Management, creation of Small Multipurpose Reservoirs (SMRs), generating water centric livelihoods such as Fisheries, Aqua tourism, etc. The objective is not only to capture surface runoff and water along the drainage lines, reduce erosion but also to formulate water policy and aim at better river governance. The SMRs will be used for various productive purposes like aquaculture, drinking water supply, mini – hydel (<100KW) irrigation, aesthetic value, tourism, eco-system promotion, etc. Another thrust area under the Programme is to address the issues and challenges arising out of Jhum and Bun cultivation with appropriate interventions under the aegis of Integrated Natural Resources Management and with active involvement of all the concerned stakeholders. The success of effective basin management primarily rests on community mobilization, capacity building of the stakeholders, convergence, creation of flexible and modern institutions, better delivery of services, and overall improvement in Governance.

The programme also seeks to strengthen the traditional/local governance framework and creating a positive development orientation which includes all sections of the society. The focus is on empowerment and transparency, development of open mindedness and inculcating the sense of ownership and responsibility from the conceptual stage till results are achieved. The IBDLP will provide leadership and strategic support to different Missions planned under it.

The Programme will result in local economic development and improving the quality of public services with focus on the poor and the marginalised. Improving local capacity in understanding the challenges relating to development and identifying strategies and programmes to meet those challenges is targeted to be addressed. Preparation of developmental activities that would leave significant impact on large populations and areas are being accorded high priority so as to avoid wasteful projects and thin spread of resources. Achieving convergence across sectors and resources is the key approach of the IBDLP. It is designed to create a shared vision of development and collective persuasion and mobilization of all the stakeholders.

The success of the missions and the IBDLP itself depends on the existence of critical infrastructure in sectors like transport, power, telecom, cold storage, marketing facilities thus making infrastructure in all the sectors a key focus. The current state of infrastructure in the state in most sectors is poorer than the national average and there is virtually no private investment in infrastructure development. In order to give a significant push, traditional models of infrastructure development exclusively by the public sector will have to be revisited and successful models of Public Private Partnership (PPP) and community participation examined. There is a need to learn from experience in similar geographies to build strong enabling infrastructure. A fundamental attitudinal shift in the public sector, building strong partnerships with communities and technical agencies would be required.

INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORKS

The IBDLP programme is implemented through the following Institutional Frameworks

  • MBDC
    The Meghalaya Basin Development Council (MBDC) is headed by the Chief Minister and is responsible for policy planning and coordination, innovation, resource mobilisation and for synergising the efforts of the various stakeholders. The members of MBDC are Ministers and Chief Executive Members of Autonomous District Councils and other distinguished experts.
  • MBDA
    The Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA) is headed by the Chief Secretary, government of Meghalaya and is responsible for the strategy ad steering the overall implementation of programmes.
  • DBDU
    The District Basin Development Units (DBDU) has been set up in all 11 districts in the office of the Deputy Commissioner. The DBDUs are the implementation agencies for the various interventions under the programme. Convergence of the activities of the department is achieved under the aegis of the DBDUs.
  • EFC
    Enterprise Facilitation Centres (EFC) are set up at the Block level as first points of contacts and grass root interface with citizens. 39 EFCs are currently functioning.
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