With close to 1.2 billion people, India is the world’s largest democracy facing a host of promising yet daunting growth trends. Along with population growth, literacy rates and life expectancy are increasing. Food production has largely kept pace with population growth. Until this year, GDP growth was among the fastest in the world, with projections that it could become the world’s fifth largest economy by 2025. Much of this growth has been concentrated in India’s urban center, but the impacts of rapid urbanization are not limited to city centers. This simultaneously drives urban expansion and rural to urban migration.
The CLiGS India program is focused on sustainable livelihoods as a means of integrating two core sustainable development themes: (1) human well-being and poverty alleviation and (2) biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service sustainability. A livelihood is considered sustainable when it can maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future without undermining the natural resource base. The interconnectedness between poverty, livelihoods, and biodiversity are explicit in international conventions, such as the Millennium Development Goals and the Convention of Biological Diversity, and are well recognized by a diversity of transnational institutions including the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization and Environmental Programmes of the United Nations, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and others. What better place to delve into the challenges and opportunities related to taking a cross-sector approach to sustainable livelihoods than in India, where biodiversity is rich but declining, and one third of the 1.2 billion people reside in poverty.
- Memo of Understanding established with Global Tiger Forum in New Delhi to explore relationships between tiger conservation and sustainable livelihood development
- India International Field Experience – Fall 2014 – Bridging sustainable development agendas in India: poverty alleviation, livelihoods and biodiversity conservation