RAJESH S. KUMAR, SHILPI KUNDU, JAZMIN CABALLERO, SUNITA RANABHAT, N.K. BINU
Indian Forest Service (IFS), India
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
Guyra Paraguay, Geoprocessing Unit, Paraguay
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal
Kerala Agricultural University, Dept. of Tree Physiology and Breeding, India
The realisation of complex social phenomenon such as food security calls for integrated approaches involving enhancement of agricultural productivity, access to productive resource base, availability of social safety nets, operations of robust institutional arrangements under the overall umbrella of strong political commitment. However, such strategies are often challenged by imperfections, deficiencies and compatibility-related issues vis à vis the stakeholders expectations and actor incongruities. It is also observed that aggravation of food crisis often is accompanied by the incidences of natural disasters, degradation of the natural resource base, weak institutions and poor governance arrangements. The precarious scenario is further accentuated and threatened by incidences of drought, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, land degradation as well as the new and emerging threat of climate change. The vulnerable sections of the society such as indigenous and mountain people are often pushed to high levels of food insecurity and livelihood issues by such vicious circles.
In the current paper we analyse, demonstrate and describe as to how such issues could be effectively addressed by integrated landscape level resource developmental initiatives under good governance arrangements supported with political commitments taking evidences in context of much disadvantaged social groups such as indigenous people and other mountain communities. We have adopted a case study method to understand how creation of a favourable political environment for participation of actors and stakeholders under good governance arrangements help realise the expectations on securing food and livelihood security and inclusive development. In the current case study we have considered evidence based decision making recorded by the indigenous people in the Attappady block of Kerala State in India under a unique eco restoration project which addressed several cross sectoral developmental issues at landscape level, with a high level of inclusion leading to improved food security and livelihood security. We expect that the developmental model discussed herein as well as evidences from the current case study can potentially complement the efforts towards promotion of productive, sustainable, cultural and environmental practices aimed at realising the targets under the Millennium Development Goals as still 805 million people across the globe are living with hunger and malnutrition .
Keywords: Food security, integrated land use systems, Kerala, mountain communities