Sister's Are Doing It For Themselves — Sustainable Development in India

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Women For Sustainable Development is a group working in Southern India on projects promoting climate change mitigation and rural development. Since 1994 they have been working with women to help them in achieve self-sufficiency and empowerment in their daily lives. This is done through selling CER (certified emission reduction) Certificates to investors. The certificate could be for cows, agro-forestry, mango orchards, or for renewable energy plants such as a biogas plant fuelled by cow dung. All these provide work, income and sustainable energy for poor families in rural communities. Current investors include Innocent Drinks, The Carbon Neutral Company and Plan Vivo.Dry Land Mango Orchards are a good example of how WSD works. Mango trees are hardy and don’t need much water therefore they make ‘long term ecological and economic sense in this arid and drought prone region.’ A female farmer can expect her income to double within six years by managing 1 acre of mango trees and that income would be five times that of their present income from groundnuts. Trees specifically for fuel can also be planted around the edge of the orchard. WSD calculate that 1 acre of Dry Land Mango Orchard with 5 years supervision costs 345 US $. They have a 35 year project plan for Mango plantations and are aiming for 25 000 acres which they say will sequester 575'000 tonnes of Carbon.

WSD’s work is interesting because it has a holistic approach. We like it that they’re aiming to improve not only the fertility of the land, but the life quality and empowerment of the local people, as well as contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions. Let’s here it for those multi-tasking women! ::Women For Sustainable Development